Boxing Day shooting self-inflicted

A Motueka man says he shot himself in the stomach accidentally while cleaning a sawn-off .22 rifle.

It could be said that Dru Robert Kennard, 23, was the "architect of his own misfortune", defence counsel John Sandston told the Nelson District Court yesterday.

Kennard admitted possession of an unlicensed firearm, and will be sentenced next month.

A police armed offenders squad was called to a Pah St house early on Boxing Day last year, where they found Kennard with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. He was taken to Nelson Hospital for emergency surgery.

Police recovered from the property an unlicensed .22 rifle with a cut-down barrel, which Kennard later admitted was his.

Prosecutor Wayne Johnston said Kennard told police he had the gun because he had been receiving threats, which Mr Sandston refuted.

His client told police that in a vulnerable state, not long after waking from an induced coma, he said.

Mr Sandston said Kennard found the modified rifle while out pig hunting.

His client had been cleaning the gun because he wanted to remove the firing pin and display it as an ornament, he said.

After the incident a neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she was not surprised a shooting had happened as there had been a lot of fighting, screaming and what sounded like punching on Christmas night.

"We were about to call the police but then everything appeared to calm down."

She said a woman at the address was shouting at a man to return her dog.

There were cars going in and out of the property for hours.

"I heard a woman crying and it was really bad. I wish I did call the police but all the cars left suddenly."

Although, a police spokeswoman said she was unaware of fighting prior to the shooting and that police had not investigated anyone else in relation to the shooting.

Judge Tony Zohrab convicted Kennard for unlawfully possessing the rifle, and said all options were available at his sentencing on March 10.

In 2006 Kennard was sentenced to 2 years 6 months in jail for aggravated robbery with a firearm.