Man who fired shots at noisy boy racers gets home detention

A frustrated Waikato man who repeatedly fired shots at cars on his street after being pushed to his limits by boy racers relentlessly terrorising his neighbourhood has avoided jail.

Anthony Zane Gareth Baker, 33, appeared at Hamilton District Court this morning 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”.

But it was a frustrated Baker who admitted 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.”

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, and 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 vehicles that were revving and spinning their wheels and making a large racket.

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 despite the danger, fortunately not one of the 15 people in those vehicles was injured.

Judge Down said Baker’s early guilty plea, 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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