Shooter of cyclist on Merri Creek bike path fined $6,000 & ordered to do 100 hours’ community work

I have earlier reported the shooting of Melinda Zygarlicki, noting with amazement the fact that she thought she had been struck by a tennis ball, and continued riding home. This is a crime with a quicker than usual denouement — I read in the paper just a day or two ago of the sentencing of one of the characters who carved up one bloke with a sword after a fight over a girl in July 2002 and chased two others, instilling such fear into them that they jumped into the Yarra and drowned — no doubt because Andrew Pernell turned himself into police and then pleaded guilty to firearms offences. ABC Online reported:

“A man who accidentally shot a cyclist in Melbourne earlier this year has been fined and ordered to do community work.

Thirty-one-year-old Melinda Zygarlicki was riding her bike on a bridge over the Merri Creek in March when she was shot. The bullet narrowly missed her heart.

The Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court heard 32-year-old Northcote man Andrew Pernell handed himself into police, saying he had been sitting on his back doorstep cleaning his rifle and had accidentally fired it when he stood up.

He pleaded guilty to reckless conduct endangering life and firearms offences.

Magistrate Marc Sergeant fined Pernell $6,000 and ordered him to perform 100 hours of community work.

Outside court, Pernell admitted his actions were reckless.

‘I should’ve been a lot more careful,’ he said.

He says he no longer handles firearms.”

The photo of a little bridge over the Merri Creek, on the bike path, is a typically beautiful composition from Amy Walters, or Amylisha for Flickr purposes.

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3 Replies to “Shooter of cyclist on Merri Creek bike path fined $6,000 & ordered to do 100 hours’ community work”

  1. Not sure that I understand the question, really, because (i) I don’t think it’s necessary, even in the blogosphere, to proffer an opinion as to such a matter upon reporting it and (ii) I don’t think anything I wrote is ambiguous one way or the other on the question of whether the guy should have gone to jail. Since you ask though, I figure he way should not have gone to jail because (a) the police aren’t muttering about the outcome but almost certainly arranged it by a plea bargain, (b) the court presumably got it right as the courts generally but not always do, (c) it is inherently unlikely that Pernell just decided to shoot someone he almost certainly did not know and then give himself in to the police, (d) the fact that when the negligently handled gun went off it hit someone is irrelevant, and (e) depending on the guy’s circumstances, the penalty seems appropriate for negligently handling a gun in the general vicinity of other people.

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