Grandfather convicted after hunting accident

  • 15/12/2015

The grandfather of a boy who was fatally shot in a hunting accident earlier this year has been convicted and sentenced to four months' community detention.

Eleven-year-old Connor Brian Phillips was shot during a hunting trip in the Kaingaroa Forest, near Taupo.

Brian Phillips, 67, was sentenced this morning in the Taupo District Court after previously pleading guilty to careless use of a firearm causing death, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Phillips had interim name suppression, which lapsed this morning.

In Phillips' affidavit, read on behalf of him in court, he described Connor as a "junior hunter following in my steps and would have taken over leading the pack".

Phillips also said "I wish it was me. I was meant to go before my grandchildren. It is a heavy burden I carry every day. It is a life sentence," NZ Herald reports.

Connor's parents were not at the sentencing but wrote in a letter read by Judge Snell that they had forgiven Phillips "as Connor would have wanted".

Judge Snell declined the defendant's application for discharge without conviction.

"It is very clear the sentence I impose today is nothing compared with how you are treating yourself," he said.

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