There was a large police presence in Kamo following the shooting in May 2022. Photo / Tania Whyte
A man’s medicinal need for cannabis as a painkiller drove a family to participate in drug dealing that prompted a drive-by shooting in Kamo. Two brothers involved were sent to prison and their mother was sentenced to home detention for drug dealing.
Jamie Ellison, 29, Jay Ellison, 26, and their mother Lynda Prouse, 58, were sentenced in the Whangārei District Court before Judge Keith de Ridder on various charges relating to firearms and possession of cannabis following a drive-by shooting that evolved on Station Road in Whangārei.
The court heard CCTV captured the eldest brother, Jamie, walking from his house with a firearm and getting into the backseat of a car driven by his younger brother Jay.
At around 1.30 pm on May 17, 2022, the brothers went to an address in Kamo in regard to a dispute over a contract involving the dealing of cannabis.
When they arrived at the property, the first victim began walking towards the vehicle when Jamie pulled a .22 rifle out of the rear window and fired five shots.
The victim took cover behind a parked vehicle and the shots hit the passenger door, rear tyre and into the air, luckily missing the victim.
A second victim heard the shots and came out of the house when the driver Jay yelled at her, aiming a gun in her direction before fleeing the scene.
Following a lengthy police investigation, police executed a search warrant two months later at the mother of the boy’s home, Lynda Prouse, where the pair lived and located 5.3kg of cannabis, cash, tick lists and dealing bags.
When questioned, Prouse said she was putting cannabis in butter and cookies but was not involved in the sale of cannabis
Judge de Ridder said although there was some dispute over why the pair were at the address, what was clear was that the core purpose was to deal in drugs.
The court heard the family returned to New Zealand from Australia in 2019 following the deportation of Jamie, with Jay recently trying to come off intense painkillers for an injury, using cannabis as a substitute.
“You don’t dispute you were selling cannabis…arisen largely from your physical difficulties which caused you to be prescribed serious painkillers.
“Although you didn’t pull the trigger, you are equally culpable,” Judge de Ridder told Jay.
He said Jay’s offending was premeditated with a degree of recklessness.
“You were aware there was going to be a confrontation. Whether it was a set-up or there was a risk to your brother, you made a conscious decision to take a rifle and ammunition.
“Five shots in the air, in broad daylight, in a public area. Clearly, there is a high risk of something going wrong and someone being hit.
“There has been an increase in weapons in public places. You had possession of this weapon but you also had another one at your property with ammunition. Denunciation and deterrence are very much to the core,” Judge de Ridder said.
Jamie was sentenced to two years and nine months imprisonment for discharging a firearm, presenting a firearm, and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Jay was sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment for discharging a firearm with reckless disregard and possession of cannabis for the purpose of sale.
Prouse was sentenced to nine months of home detention on one charge of possession of cannabis for the purpose of sale and ordered the forfeiture of $1150.