A DUTCH man who recklessly discharged a firearm was given the benefit of the Probation Act at Bantry District Court.
Sgt Trish O’Sullivan told Judge Mary Dorgan that the accused Johan Horstmanshoff (47) of Rossmore, Durrus, Bantry, had been shooting at a crow at 6.35am on the morning of July 16th 2017 but a fragment of the bullet went through the window of a family home.
The sergeant said the couple got ‘a bit of a fright’ when they heard the noise and only discovered what happened when they went to investigate.
Sgt O’Sullivan said: ‘They didn’t realise what it was at first,’ but they did not believe the accused’s actions were in any way malicious.
Margaret Collins, the solicitor for the accused, said the incident ‘almost defied logic’ because a fragment of the bullet ricocheted off a crow and travelled over 1km cross-country at a 90-dgree angle to the direction in which it was fired.
Ms Collins submitted that her client had trained in the Dutch army and is ‘a very skilled shooter’ and there was nothing untoward in his actions.
Supt Declan O’Sullivan said the file had been sent to the DPP but it was agreed that the matter could be dealt with in the District Court.
The superintendent said the accused was co-operative with the gardaí and that the offence was ‘at the lower end of the scale’.
Judge Mary Dorgan held that the circumstances were ‘extraordinary’ but she said she was satisfied that the accused had otherwise taken all reasonable precautions.