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Prosecutor: 'Experienced hunter' shot ex

Elizabeth Thomson

Loburn shooting trial nears its end as defence argues ex-partner was "difficult, frazzling and uncooperative" for weeks prior to shooting.

Luke Adam Nickless is on trial in the Christchurch District Court charged with threatening to kill his ex-partner in September last year. He has pleaded guilty unlawful possession of a firearm.

The prosecution alleges Nickless deliberately shot Renaye Strachan in the leg with a firearm, while the defence argues the shooting was accidental and that Nickless "only meant to scare her"

Defence Lawyer Tony Garrett told the jury Strachan had been "difficult, frazzling and uncooperative" in the weeks leading up to the event. Strachan had said she wanted to kill Nickless, or get someone else to do it, Garrett said. 

He said Strachan was "pulling the strings" and had a motive behind saying the incident was deliberate. 

Garrett told the jury police had been "casual" in their investigation as they did not check the area's cellphone coverage before stating Nickless had not make a 111 call according to their records. 

He ended his argument by saying the event was "tragic and personal", then encouraged the jury to put aside their emotions before deliberating. 

Crown Prosecutor Pip Currie said Nickless was "an experienced hunter" and could not have accidentally left bullets in the firearm as he claimed. 

READ MORE: Accused shooter didn't know gun was loaded

In recounting how events had unfolded, Currie said Nickless had lured Strachan to his property in Loburn by asking if her two boys, one of them his six-year-old son, wanted to come to the property to ride mini-motorcycles. Once there, Nickless had taken Strachan's phone and car keys.

Strachan admitted to fighting Nickless for the phone and 'clawing' at him with her nails. 

READ MORE: Woman pleads for her life after being shot

Currie said Nickless had been "economical with the truth", while Strachan had "no reason to embellish or exaggerate the truth".

The jury is set to deliberate today before making a final decision on the case.