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Guilty verdict for Loburn shooter

Charlotte Thieme
Court

Man convicted of shooting and threatening to kill ex-partner.

Luke Nickless, 35, shot his ex-partner in Loburn last September.

After a four-day jury trial in the Christchurch District Court, Nickless was found guilty on seven of eight charges.

He was convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, threatening to kill, and five counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, pistol, or restricted weapon. The jury found him not guilty on a charge of male assaults female, ruling that the palm he pressed to Renaye Strachan's throat was in self-defence.

It was alleged Nickless said: "I'll blow your f***ing brains out," as he held Strachan at gunpoint.

A number of Nickless' family and friends were present throughout the trial. Prior to verdict being read, Judge Jane Farish implored the public gallery "remain composed" and "give respect to the jury".

It was revealed during the trial process that Nickless and Strachan’s domestic dispute was centred around the couple's separation and child care.

Nickless maintained that he had picked up the gun in an attempt to diffuse the situation, because Starchan wouldn't talk to him about their family situation.

He will appear again in the Christchurch District Court on November 23 for sentencing.

Judge Farish warned Nickless that he would be subject to ‘three-strike legislation’ and ineligible for parole if he ever committed a crime of similar magnitude again.

Meanwhile, each juror was offered counselling and support following the conclusion of an "emotional and traumatic" trial.

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