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Accused shooter: I didn't know gun was loaded

Steven Walton

A man accused of shooting his ex-partner told police he didn’t know the gun was loaded a court has heard.

Luke Adam Nickless is on trial in the Christchurch District Court for strangling and then shooting his ex-partner Renaye Strachan in the leg last year.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges of threatening to kill, assaulting a woman, wounding with intent and unlawful possession of firearms.  

Police officer Andre Barrett gave evidence this morning and said once Nickless was handcuffed and placed in a police car, he told officers he did not know the gun was loaded.

The jury trial is in its second day.

The court heard on Monday that Nickless allegedly told his ex-partner: "I'm going to blow your f'***ing brains out."

Strachan told the court she had to beg Nickless not to kill her after he had shot her with a pump action shot-gun on his Loburn property last September.

Strachan, who has a 2-year-old son with Nickless and a 6-year-old son from a previous relationship, had taken the children to Nickless' farm to ride motorbikes on September 29, 2017. The pair had separated earlier that year after being together for three years.

READ MORE: Woman 'pleads for life' after being shot