No prosecution over gun purchase story

4:39 pm on 2 March 2016

MediaWorks staff who purchased a gun over the internet to prove a point about gun safety will escape prosecution.

Heather du Plessis-Allan tweeted this photo of herself with the gun.

Heather du Plessis-Allan tweeted this photo of herself with the gun. Photo: Supplied

Instead they have been issued with a formal warning.

The gun was bought by the journalist Heather du Plessis-Allan for the TV3 current affairs show Story.

Later, the home she shares with journalist Barry Soper was raided by the police.

Police said they became involved after staff sought to surrender a firearm that had been illegally purchased.

The police investigation focussed on the creation of a forged document to obtain the gun.

Police have now issued formal warnings to three MediaWorks staff.

They said there was no evidence that the acquisition of the firearm was for a sinister purpose, and that was taken into consideration in deciding not to prosecute.

In reaching this decision, the Solicitor-General Prosecution Guidelines were considered, together with independent legal advice.

They added they followed established prosecution guidelines and also obtained independent legal advice.

But even though they would not take the case to court, they stressed it was not appropriate to commit a criminal offence purely to publicise the ease with which something can be done.

Gunshop owner considers private prosecution

But the gunshop owner who was involved in the process is disappointed at the police decision not to prosecute.

Gun City company owner David Tipple said it was wrong.

"I'm really disappointed but it was what I had expected right from the outset.

"There will be so many firearms owners feeling betrayed that if they had done something this illegal they would have gone to jail, that is no message raking, chasing media people that you won't even go to court."

Mr Tipple said he would probably take a private prosecution,

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