A man jailed for fatally shooting his lifelong friend during a hunting trip has been granted parole.
Blair John Davidson, 26, was sentenced last December to two years and six months' jail and ordered to pay $10,000 in emotional harm reparation when he appeared before Justice Denis Clifford in the High Court at Invercargill.
He had earlier admitted failing to take reasonable precautions while in control of a .270-calibre rifle, causing the death of Mark Richard Vanderley, 26, on April 29 last year.
The Parole Board decision said the manslaughter arose after a failure on Davidson's part to use reasonable care with a firearm during the hunting trip, which caused the death of his close friend.
Davidson's sentence expiry date was June 16, 2015, but he will be freed on November 4 this year.
Davidson's lawyer said his client had written a letter making it clear he accepted responsibility for the death.
Davidson accepted the offending involved alcohol but there was no addiction or ongoing issues, the decision said. However, Davidson would undertake alcohol counselling in the community.
The board was satisfied the situation did not call for an intense prison-based intervention programme, it said.
Davidson's lawyer noted his client had a lot of support, had behaved well in prison and had strong release options, with accommodation and employment prospects.
He said his client would need counselling to help him come to terms with the incident, the decision noted.
"After considering all the circumstances of this case we are satisfied that we should make a direction for release.
"In reaching that conclusion, we are not dismissive of the alcohol factor and the absence of prison-based treatment.
"We have, however, taken into account counsel's submissions about the abstinence during the period between offending and sentencing."
The board added a special condition requiring assessment in the community and treatment or counselling if necessary.
Another condition meant Davidson could not have contact with any victim of his offending without prior written approval from his probation officer until his statutory release date on June 16, 2015.
He was also directed not to hold a firearm's licence or own or hold a firearm until June 16, 2015.
- © Fairfax NZ News