2 Feb 2011

Hunter who shot woman at campsite jailed

10:34 pm on 2 February 2011

A Hamilton man has become the first hunter to be jailed for manslaughter after accidentally killing a woman.

Andrew Mears earlier pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Rosemary Ives, 25, whom he shot at a Department of Conservation camp site near Turangi on 22 October last year.

Mears, 26, was jailed for two-and-a-half years when he appeared for sentencing at the Rotorua High Court on Wednesday.

Ms Ives was shot in the head after Mears mistakenly thought the head lamp she was wearing while brushing her teeth were the eyes of a deer.

During sentencing, Justice Priestley said he accepted that Mears was truly remorseful for what he had done, but told him his stupidity had cost the life of a young, vibrant and loving woman.

"Your conduct that night was a major departure from the standards of care expected from a user of a lethal weapon in a forest park dedicated to public use."

The court heard from four members Ms Ives' family, each reading a victim impact statement.

Her partner Adam Hindman, who spent 90 minutes trying to revive her, told the court that the woman he thought he would spend the rest of his life with no longer exists, and that Mears forced her to die.

"He broke the law, displayed unfathomable recklessness and negligence and put the lives of the public at risk. I can not see this incident as some unlucky accident.

"The fact that she has been killed in this manner, to have had her life taken in such a needless and violent way makes it so much harder to bear, so much harder to accept."

Justice Priestly refused to consider home detention and also ordered reparation of $10,000.