No jail for man paralysed by police bullet
Tue, 27 Nov 2012 3:15p.m.
A 49-year-old man who was left paralysed from the waist down after being shot by police will not spend time in jail for threatening to kill officers.
David Andrew Taite was sentenced to eight months' home detention when he appeared in Napier District Court today.
The former shearer was shot after the car in which he was a passenger was stopped by two police officers at Otane in Central Hawke's Bay early on October 20 last year.
At an earlier hearing, Taite was described as having approached the officers in a threatening manner and pretending that a whisky bottle inside his jacket was a gun.
He yelled: "I've got a gun and I'm gonna kill you".
One of the officers then shot him in the torso.
Judge Brooke Gibson dismissed two charges of presenting the bottle as a firearm, ruling it had not been brandished or displayed by Taite.
However, Taite was convicted of threatening to kill the officers.
He was also sentenced on several charges of burglary, one of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and one of dangerous driving earlier this year.
Judge Gibson said Taite had a long list of previous convictions but most of those had occurred 11 years ago.
While the burglary convictions would normally warrant a prison sentence, the judge took into account Taite's permanent physical disability resulting from the police shooting.
He sentenced him to eight months' home detention on all but the dangerous driving charge, for which he was given one month home detention and disqualified from driving for six months.
Taite, who is now confined to a wheelchair, would serve his period of home detention in a rural area where he is living with relatives.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority is investigating the shooting.
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