14 May 2012

Home detention for Wanaka hunter who shot friend

12:29 pm on 14 May 2012

A Wanaka man who shot and killed his best friend while hunting for deer has been sentenced to home detention and community service.

Reuben Burke had been rabbit hunting with friend Dougal Fyfe and another man following a Christmas party in December last year.

They had not intended hunting for deer, but when one was spotted about 1am they decided to stalk it.

Burke, believing Dougal Fyfe was behind him, aimed and shot what he thought was the reflection of an eye. He had called out to Mr Fyfe, but later discovered that he had shot and killed him.

In the Queenstown District Court on Monday, Judge Kevin Phillips sentenced Burke to seven months' home detention, 300 hours of community service and ordered that he pay Mr Fyfe's family $10,000 for emotional harm.

The judge also ordered Burke to forfeit the .22 calibre rifle from which the fatal shot was fired and to surrender his firearms licence.