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Police shooter's appeal rejected

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/06/2017

A man who shot up two separate police stations to get attention for his sick sister has failed to get his conviction overturned.

Faraniko Pei was in March sentenced to five years' and 10 months' jail for using a shotgun against a law enforcement officer and other charges, following a judge-alone trial.

Appealing the sentence, he told the High Court at Palmerston North while he accepted he was guilty of recklessly firing a gun, he had never actually used the weapon "against" a police officer, but rather just shot at the buildings to make a point.

On the evening on August 10, 2015, Pei fired two 12-gauge shots into the front door and windows of the Highbury community policing centre, according to court documents.

He then drove to the Palmerston North central police station - open for business a the time - and fired two shots into the safety glass at the public counter - missing an officer at the desk by only two or three metres.

The court accepted the shots were not fired at the Constable or with intention to hurt her.

The day prior Pei had complained to police about treatment his "very unwell" sister was receiving at Palmerston North hospital and the judge at his trial found he had shot at the police stations in order to get officers to take his complaint more seriously.

But while Pei's appeal lawyer argued he was just making a dramatic point, rather than trying to intimidate the officer specifically - noting she wasn't in uniform - Justice Helen Cull ruled it was relevant the Constable was there.

"He discharged a firearm at the glass partition, while 'in full view of' and 'facing' the constable," she said.

"[He] fired two shots into the glass, recognising that the Constable was scared by the first shot before he discharged a second."

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