4 Feb 2011

Hunting party may be prosecuted over camper's death

5:22 pm on 4 February 2011

The Department of Conservation is considering a prosecution against the fellow hunters of a man jailed for the accidental shooting death of a camper.

Andrew Mears this week became the first hunter to be jailed for manslaughter after fatally shooting 25-year-old teacher Rosemary Ives in the Kaimanawa Forest Park near Turangi on 22 October last year.

Mears, 26, mistakenly thought the head lamp Ms Ives was wearing while brushing her teeth were the eyes of a deer. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and on Wednesday was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Ms Ives' mother says she is sickened others in the hunting party have not been prosecuted.

Police say they cannot prosecute the three other hunters in relation to the death but it is possible the Department of Conservation could lay charges because the group was on its land.

DoC says it is looking into whether a prosecution is possible based on the fact that the shot was fired at night.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 12 months' jail or a fine of up to $10,000.