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Ignoring Basic Rule of Hunting Led to Death

20.09.2003 New Zealand Herald

A failure by a hunter to observe one of the basic rules of hunting led to the death of a Taupo man, the Taupo coroner has found.

Mark Leathwick died at 12.20pm on April 20 after being shot in the head by another hunter, Christopher Davies, in Kaimanawa Forest Park.

At a court hearing in May, Mr Davies pleaded guilty to a charge of careless use of a firearm causing death and was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment and ordered to pay $5000 reparation.

Mr Leathwick's widow, Linda, and several supporters were at Mr Leathwick's inquest yesterday to hear Taupo district coroner Morna McFarlane rule Mr Leathwick had been fatally shot after being mistaken for a deer.

"In a case such as this I can and will make a comment and recommendation with an eye to the future -- and this is a very, very obvious one to address to hunters: identify your target," Ms McFarlane said.

"That basic rule was not observed."


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