Saturday, May 23, 2015

New Zealand Man on Trial for Accidentally Killing his Son on a Hunting Trip

Stephen Phillip Long after leaving the Invercargill District Court on Friday morning.
Stephen Phillip Long

New Zealand local news

A Southland man has admitted accidentally shooting dead his son during a hunting trip to Stewart Island in March. 

Stephen Phillip Long, 61, has pleaded guilty to a charge of careless use of a firearm causing the death of his 24-year-old son Samuel Phillip Long on March 23.

Long was wiping away tears in the dock as police prosecutor Phil Berryman read the summary of facts in court on Friday morning.

Samuel Long left the hut they had slept in overnight at 9am on March 23 dressed in camouflage clothing and wearing a camouflage cap and backpack.

His father left the hut 45 minutes later, also wearing camouflage hunting gear.

He reached an area of bush and saw movement in the bush which he believed were two white-tailed deer.

He told police he spent two or three minutes confirming this with both the naked eye and also looking through his rifle scope at different magnifications to identify the deer, Berryman said. Long also moved to his left and right to clearly identify his target.

He aimed and fired at what he believed was the deer's head and neck from his Tikka 7mm-08 rifle.

"The defendant then walked forward to find he had fatally shot the victim through the head," Berryman said.

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