Deerstalkers association wants manslaughter for Mears
The New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association wants to see charges laid against Rosemary Ives’ killer, Andrew Mears, upgraded to manslaughter.
Mr Mears appeared in the Taupo District Court this morning to face what NZDA regards as a very minor charge of careless discharge of a firearm causing death.
National president Alex McIver believes the summary of facts read in court today speaks volumes about the quite unaccidental and even deliberate intention on Mr Mears’ part, to breach conditions of the DOC permit he had been issued, to hunt in the Kaimanawa Forest Park.
The Summary of facts records that
- Mr Mears set up his camp before deciding to go out to find deer close to the roadside, whose presence was related to him by other would-be hunters he’d met before he got to camp.
- Mr Mears was in possession of a DOC permit, special condition 3 of which strictly prohibits shooting during the hours of darkness.
- Mr Mears believed the LED torch which Rosemary Ives was wearing looked at first sight like the eye of a deer, despite his being close enough to her, (between 15 and 26 metres), to be able to determine otherwise, if he had looked harder.
- NZDA observes that quite apart from breaching his permit, Andrew Mears also failed to observe three basic firearms safety rules. He failed to point his firearm safely, to identify his target before he so fired, and to check his firing zone.
- NZDA is appalled that Ms Ives died at the hands of a reckless killer, using a 243 Remington Centrefire rifle, against which she wouldn’t have stood a chance of survival at such close range.
- NZDA acknowledges Mr Mears has made an apology to Ms Ives’ family, which was read outside the Taupo District Court by his lawyer this morning. However heartfelt this is, the apology is no mitigating factor in the association’s view. It should not be regarded as a last minute show of remorse, after an event which need not have happened.
- NZDA wishes to see Mears’ charges elevated to manslaughter, believing the current charges to be too light for a crime as patently preventable as this.
The Association encourages the Police and Crown solicitor, to consider whether his accomplices, (who drove the vehicle from which Ms Ives was shot), should also face serious charges.
NZDA wants to see an example made of this horrific killing, and expects no less than a custodial sentence for Mr Mears.