Husband’s remorse over smoking gun

AN Inverell farmer who accidentally knee-capped his wife during an argument over her smoking will be sentenced in the District Court in Grafton on Monday.

Yesterday Peter Bruce Hatcher, 51, fronted the court to answer a charge of firing a firearm in a manner likely to injure another person. He also faced three other subsidiary charges of possessing an unauthorised firearm, possessing an unregistered firearm and not keeping a firearm safely.

The only witness in the case, the accused’s wife Dawn Margaret Hatcher, told how on the night of June 4, 2009, they had been at a hotel where an argument about her smoking had become heated when another person joined in.

When the couple returned to their property, Glen Morgan, Hatcher threatened his wife with a rifle and accidentally shot her in the knee.

He immediately called the ambulance and police and expressed remorse for his actions.

Mrs Hatcher told the court yesterday she still loved her husband and that she was prepared to give their marriage another chance.

However, one of the conditions she has stipulated is that he gives up drinking, which she said had become excessive in the months before the shooting, as health and financial problems had become pressing. In return she has promised to try to give up smoking.

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