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Youth Avoids Jail For Shooting Best Mate

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Feb 13 NZPA - A teenager who shot dead his best mate avoided prison when he appeared for sentence in Masterton District Court yesterday.

Raven Walters, 17, shot dead Aaron Grimwood, 17, near Martinborough in November. He later pleaded guilty to careless use of a firearm causing death and possession of a firearm without a licence, The Dominion Post reported.

Judge Bruce Davidson said the level of carelessness could have earned Walters at least 18 months' jail.

But because of Walters' age, early guilty plea and "remorse beneath the bravado and immaturity" he would be sentenced to four months' community detention, 100 hours' community work and one year of intensive supervision and counselling.

As Judge Davidson went through the police summary of evidence, Walters interrupted, changing his story from time to time.

"I didn't know there was a round of bullets in the chamber. I didn't pull the trigger, I just bumped it. I didn't even know Aaron was there," he said

Jock Blathwayt, Walters' lawyer, argued that it was an honest accident.

"He didn't realise that it wasn't safe ... it was an accident, but carelessness was not a main factor."

Judge Davidson rejected the argument and said Walters should have checked whether there was a round of ammunition in the rifle.

The victim's father, Phillip Grimwood, said Walters had got off lightly.

"He might have been remorseful in court, but that is not what he has shown us. We have got to live with this for the rest of our lives."

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