Hope the Coroner didn’t get a headache working that out

You do have wonder about the brain power of Coroners these days:

The death of a Whakatane schoolboy while duck shooting is truly tragic and could have been avoided, a coroner has found.

Ya think? Hunters’ deaths are always avoidable.  

Jamie Ross Johnston, 15, died in May 2015 during a trip with two other teenagers and one of the boys’ fathers.

Coroner Dr Wallace Bain found that Jamie died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Outlining the circumstances, Dr Bain said the boys were sitting in and around a maimai when a shotgun blast sounded.

Jamie was seen to fall off a chair and was found dead.

Dr Bain said police reported that Jamie’s rifle was resting against his face where he was slumped and the safety mechanism wasn’t engaged.

A rifle you say? Really? He was duck shooting, in a maimai…the chances of using a rifle are nil. It is illegal to shoot ducks with a rifle. I think they meant shotgun.

It was clear from the scene examination that no other person or weapon was responsible for the injuries.

The firearms were in good condition and there was no evidence of alcohol or drug use.

So, stupidity was the cause.

One of the fathers was charged with criminal nuisance for failing to discharge a legal duty by permitting under-aged persons to be in charge of a firearm.

Dr Bain said the police rightly pointed out that there was a requirement for supervision.

He said the main issue was that firearms were provided to the boys, the use of them was facilitated and there was no proper supervision.

“It is imperative that adults are present to model the correct safety procedures by their immediate and active supervision of unlicensed minors,” he said.

“Adults need to be with minors to supervise every move, every minute, every time firearms are used.”

Dr Bain noted that the release of his findings coincided with the shooting season for both deer and ducks, and said hunting safety could not be overemphasised.

The Coroner got something right, a licence holder must be supervising unlicensed people using firearms.


– NZ Newswire

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.