Andrew Hore is a cowboy. He has a poor record with firearms and he has just had his firearms licence reinstated.
He is once again a fit and proper person to own firearms. It is a ridiculous situation, not helped by idiot Police prosecutors.
Former All Black Andrew Hore has won his court battle to have his firearms licence reinstated despite a judge’s concerns over his attitude to shooting and alcohol.
The ex-Highlanders hooker was stripped of his licence in October 2015 following an incident five months earlier when 25-year-old Daniel Parker sustained a gunshot wound while duck shooting on Mr Hore’s Ranfurly farm known as “Stonehenge”.
The six-strong hunting party told authorities a firearm had fallen from the back of a quad bike and accidentally discharged, but police were sceptical about the explanation.
He took his case to the Dunedin District Court last year and Judge Michael Crosbie released his judgement yesterday overruling the police decision.
The judge was particularly critical of the police case, which saw them decline to cross-examine Mr Hore or anyone who wrote affidavits in his support.
The only person called to give evidence at the November hearing was Inspector Olaf Jensen, who relied on the assessment of two ambulance officers who attended the 2015 incident.
“That was a significant shortcoming in this appeal and the approach taken by the police on appeal appeared half-hearted,” Judge Crosbie said.
The Police should be ashamed. I wonder what the Police Association says about this? Then again, All Black…free pass.
This proves my point clearly, that the Police do not enforce the law adequately enough.
The most high profile of those to file a reference in Mr Hore’s favour was his former All Black captain Richie McCaw.
“From my experience in using firearms with him, and having observed his demeanour and cautious approach to firearms use, I have no concerns around his firearms licence being restored to him,” he wrote.
If the police had wanted to question Mr McCaw or any of the deponents he would have had to give evidence at the appeal hearing at the Dunedin District Court.
Another who spoke up in favour of Mr Hore was All Black mental-skills coach Gilbert Enoka, who called him “honest, loyal and reliable”.
“A quite responsible person . . . [nothing] suggestive of a personality disorder indulging in risk taking or any other tendency that would make him an inappropriate person to hold a firearms licence.”
So, once an All Black and you get a free pass. Any respect I may have had for Richie McCaw just evaporated.
Mr Hore was convicted of supplying a firearm to an unlicensed person over the shooting incident and fined $400, plus court costs of $130.
Judge Crosbie said the sentence indicated the offence was at the lower end of the scale.However, the judge remained worried about Mr Hore’s attitude.
“I am concerned about the line maintained by the appellant with respect to alcohol. I am well aware that there are those who will advocate for the culture if a few drinks when shooting, although from his own evidence I query whether the appellant’s habits are of ‘a few’,” he said.
“The appellant’s status as a sportsman has undoubtedly attracted more attention towards his transgressions than might otherwise be the case, a reminder of the magnifying glass that lies over the lives of many. Rightly or wrongly, such status often attracts behavioural expectations and scrutiny from the public. In that regard, the appellant’s thinking around firearms and alcohol might require some calibration.“
This shows what I have also been saying about penalties. You get more of a penalty if you catch one fish over your limit than being irresponsible and careless with firearms. And if you are an All Black or have been an All Black then it appears you get a free pass. The judge needs a kicking too…he remains concerned but gives the fool his firearms licence back?
Judge Crosbie accepted from defence counsel David Robinson that there was no evidence of gross intoxication. Though a now infamous incident where Mr Hore shot and killed a male seal on the Otago Peninsula was 10 years ago, he said he was entitled to take previous conduct into account.
The judge noted the revocation had seen the ex-rugby player without a firearms licence for 18 months and he hoped it would be a “salutary reminder” of his responsibilities.
The shortcomings in Mr Hore’s behaviour were “outweighed by the positive and unchallenged character evidence presented to this court”, Judge Crosbie said.
Soft judge, dud judge, and an idiot is back in control of firearms.
I hope the politicians are watching this and wondering whether or not any evidence present to the select committee from Police can even be believed anymore.