Deerstalker guilty of causing death
BREAKING NEWS REPORTER
A former president of the Wellington Deerstalkers Association, Island Bay man Christopher Dummer, has pleaded guilty to causing the death of a young hunter.
Alexander Cameron McDonald, 29, was shot dead while hunting in the South Wairarapa on Easter Saturday.
Dummer pleaded guilty to careless use of a firearm (a Remington model 740 rifle) causing the death of McDonald, who was known and Cameron.
McDonald, a self-employed Auckland builder, was killed by a single shot to the head on April 7, while hunting deer in an isolated area of Aorangi Forest Park.
At the time of the shooting McDonald was hunting with his friend, Doug Williams.
Dummer was president of the Wellington Deerstalkers Association for a two year term from 2009.
He was also a committee member at the time of the shooting.
Dummer had severed all links with the Deerstalkers Association since McDonald's death.
The charge of careless use of a firearm causing death carries a maximum penalty of three years' prison and a fine up to $4000.
District Court Judge Oke Blaikie continued Dummer's bail arrangements. He was ordered to appear for sentence in the Wellington District Court on August 24, at 10am.
He told Dummer all options were open for sentencing, including a custodial sentence, probation, community or home detention.
The court earlier heard how McDonald had been shot in the head by Dummer from a distance of 16.3 metres.
Judge Blaikie said the case was yet another one where the need for utmost care and caution should have been exhibited at all times.
"I am granting you bail despite the fact there may be a term of imprisonment," Judge Blaikie said.
McDonald and Williams, of Greytown, went hunting in Aorangi Forest Park at 5.30am on April 7.
Williams shot a stag about 8.30am, with the men continuing to hunt until about 11.30am, when Williams called in a stag near a place known locally as Williamson's Creek. They separated so McDonald could get a shot at the stag.
They had been apart for about 10 minutes when the fatal shot rang out. Williams initially thought the shot was fired by his hunting partner firing at a stag.
- © Fairfax NZ News