9 Jan 2012

Mother angry hunter released from prison early

7:28 pm on 9 January 2012

The mother of a woman whose daughter was shot by a hunter at a camping ground is angry he has been released early.

Andrew Mears, 26, was released from prison on parole on Monday morning after serving 11 months of a two-and-a half-year sentence for the manslaughter of Rose Ives.

The 25-year-old teacher was shot dead while brushing her teeth at a Department of Conservation campground near Turangi in October 2010.

Mears was hunting illegally at the DoC campsite when he mistook Ms Ives's headlamp for the eyes of a deer.

The Parole Board says he has strong family support, employment prospects and does not pose a risk to the community. He is still grief-stricken by the shooting.

But Rose Ives's mother, Margaret McFarlane, says the behaviour of Mears and his three companions was arrogant and illegal and she is disgusted by his portrayal as a decent bloke and a victim.

"That night ... they were acting illegally, arrogantly, completely stupidly and they were completely responsible for their actions. They have never, ever been the victims. My daughter Rose and us are the victims."

Margaret McFarlane says the early release sends the message there are no consequences for flouting firearms laws and killing another person.

Ms McFarlane says after a needless death, the victims' families are too often left to push for changes that could stop another tragedy. She wants Mears and his companions should do community work to encourage gun safety.

She believes Mears should have served the full term, saying it is unfair he can now continue with his life when her daughter will never get the chance.

Andrew Mears is subject to five parole conditions which will remain in place until August 2013. He has been instructed to attend grief counselling and refrain from contacting Ms Ives's family once he leaves jail.