Pregnant mum threatened with shotgun

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 13:24 12/11/2012

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A man threatened to shoot his pregnant former partner and then kill himself, while the woman's young child was asleep in the next room.

Wade Alan George Croucher, 25, had laid a loaded shotgun on the floor in front of him after he made his threat at the Beckenham property.

Croucher pleaded guilty to four charges in the Christchurch District Court today.

Police prosecutor David Rusbatch said the woman was terrified that he would carry out his threat.

The Australian-born mechanic admitted unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, being drunk in charge of a firearm and using threatening language to his ex-partner.

The incident began at 9.15pm on September 25 when he arrived in a car in front of her house.

He stayed in the car for about 30 minutes with a cut-down shotgun that was broken down into two pieces hidden beneath his sweatshirt. He was also wearing an ammunition belt under his sweatshirt. It held six rounds.

Rusbatch said Croucher did not have a firearms licence and had no lawful reason for having the weapon.

He loaded the shotgun before he went inside to speak to the woman.

He became agitated during the discussion that followed and told her that if she did not answer his questions he would shoot her and then kill himself.

He then removed the shotgun and ammunition from beneath his clothing and laid them on the floor of the lounge in front of her.

Rusbatch said the terrified woman's 3-year-old child was asleep in the next room.

Croucher declined to comment to the police when the incident ended.

Defence counsel Allister Davis asked for Croucher to be remanded for sentence on January 30, with a pre-sentence report to cover his suitability for home detention.

Judge Gary MacAskill granted the remand, with Croucher in custody.

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