1491968928940 - The arrow shot by a grieving man just missed his victim’s head

The arrow shot by a grieving man just missed his victim’s head

A depressed man who narrowly missed his neighbour’s head when he shot him with a hunting bow had recently found out his mother had died of cancer, and couldn’t remember the incident because he had taken sleeping pills beforehand.

Hayden Craig Dorne​, 40, appeared before Judge Chris Sygrove​ in the New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday where he was sentenced after earlier pleading guilty to charges of threatening grievous bodily harm and assaulting a person using a compound bow as a weapon.

Dorne stood quietly in the dock during the sentencing and was supported in court by his father.

The victim and a witness had been at a neighbouring property on January 7 when they walked to Dorne’s address to look at a property that the witness owned.

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“You sent a threatening text to the witness informing her that you intended to shoot anyone, including the police, who entered your property,” Sygrove said.

A short time later, the victim and the witness walked down Dorne’s driveway, when he climbed onto his roof and drew an arrow.

“You fired that arrow that narrowly missed the victim’s head and struck the ponga in front of them and when they turned and saw you on the roof, needless to say they turned and ran from the address and rang police,” Sygrove said.

When officers arrived Dorne refused to come out and an eight hour long seige ensued, with police using a helicopter to bring in extra staff.

The armed offenders squad raided the house in the early hours of the morning and used tear gas to subdue Dorne before he was taken into custody, Senior Sergeant Darin Haenga said at the time.

When police interviewed Dorne about the incident, he said he didn’t remember any of it.

“I note that in the pre-sentence report it is no wonder you couldn’t remember what happened because you were in a depressive state at the time,” Sygrove said on Wednesday.

Dorne had just found out that his mother, who was diagnosed with cancer, had passed away and had he taken too many sedative tablets. 

“Symptoms of an overdose of this medication can be amnesia,” Sygrove said.

Once police had explained what had happened, Sygrove said Dorne had been remorseful and acknowledged the seriousness of the charges.

“While unable to recall the events you did not attempt to minimise the offending and took responsibility for your actions,” Sygrove said.

Defence lawyer Turitea Bolstad​ said Dorne had undergone a number of assessments since the incident and was now on the appropriate medication.

“It is certainly my observation today that he looks a lot better than when I first met with him,” she said.

Crown prosecutor Jacob Bourke said the arrow had narrowly missed the victim.

“It was fortunate that no one was hurt in this incident,” he said.

Sygrove took into account that Dorne was in full time employment and his lack of prior convictions, and sentenced him to 10 months’ intensive supervision on both charges.

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