The New Zealand Herald

Detention for man furious at boy racers

- Nikki Preston

Afrustrate­d Waikato man who repeatedly fired shots at cars on his street, claiming he’d been pushed to his limits by boy racers terrorisin­g his neighbourh­ood, has avoided jail.

Anthony Zane Gareth Baker, 33, appeared at Hamilton District Court yesterday and was sentenced to six months’ community detention and 12 months’ intensive supervisio­n.

At his sentencing, Judge Down said there was no doubt he and other residents had been victimised and terrorised by people using Raynes Rd in Rukuhia on the outskirts of south Hamilton for racing, doing doughnuts and “making a hell of a racket”.

Baker said he was pushed too far and on a number of days grabbed his .22 calibre rifle and started shooting at cars as they drove past his Raynes Rd property on the outskirts of Rukuhia several nights over a month.

Judge Down also considered that Baker had been suffering from insomnia and was suffering from the effects of a relationsh­ip breakdown at the time he fired the shots.

“None of that excuses what you did, but it does explain the background and how you reacted on those days,” he added.

In the first offence on June 9, 2020, Baker shot at a car that was spinning its tyre and the bullet hit the front passenger door.

Ten days later he heard engines being revved outside and tyres being spun, so he went outside late at night and shot at the boot of a Nissan Skyline.

In mid-July, he again awoke to a large number of vehicles revving outside his house and shot at six of them that were revving and spinning their wheels and making a large racket.

Judge Down said Baker overreacte­d to the disruption and had shot at eight of the vehicles to express his anger at the dangerous behaviour probably without even thinking about injuring the people inside them.

He said fortunatel­y not one of the 15 people in those vehicles was injured.

Judge Down said Baker’s early guilty plea, his willingnes­s to attend restorativ­e justice and obvious remorse meant community detention could be considered over prison.

Along with the community detention, he also has a curfew of between 7pm and 6am to allow him to continue to work in Te Awamutu and was ordered to pay about $4000 in reparation to four of his 15 victims.

In November last year, Baker pleaded guilty to eight charges of recklessly dischargin­g a firearm and eight of intentiona­l damage.

Some of the charges had a maximum penalty of up to seven years’ imprisonme­nt.

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