Sentence deferred on firearms conviction

A man deported from Australia appeared in the Invercargill District Court on a discharge of a firearm charge — 16 years after the offence occurred.

Shane Nicholas Hodges (34), transport worker, of Invercargill, was 19 when he fired an air rifle at a park in Christchurch on March 30, 2006.

Defence counsel Olivia Taylor said Hodges had been co-operative with police at the time of the incident, but was not aware he would be charged.

With plans to go to Australia, he left New Zealand.

While he had been "returned from Australia for obvious reasons", Ms Taylor said he did not have any history of offending in New Zealand.

“He’s pleaded guilty at the first instance, so I’m going to ask you to treat him as a first offender," Ms Taylor said.

Judge Jim Large said in fairness to Hodges, he would not make inquiries as to why he was deported.

He convicted Hodges and deferred his sentence for nine months.



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