Police found texts on a phone from an offender who said she had a gun to shoot her partner. Photo / NZME
A woman who stole a gun and wanted to shoot her partner to stop him continually beating her up has been told by a judge her plan for violence was equally as bad.
Alicia Edwards was found in possession of a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition and told police she wanted to shoot her partner in the foot to end the family violence.
The 37-year-old of Kensington appeared for sentencing on one charge of unlawfully possessing a pistol and one charge of unlawfully possessing ammunition after police found text messages on her cousin’s phone in June 2021.
The texts, which were found by police executing a search warrant in relation to another incident, said Edwards had taken the gun out of her cousin’s car without him knowing and indicated she planned to use it.
Police found the sawn-off shotgun and rounds of ammunition at Edwards’ property and when spoken to by officers, she said she wanted to deter her partner from continually beating her up.
Edwards appeared before Judge Diedre Orchard in the Whangārei District Court with her partner, who was in court to support her. The judge addressed them both on their violence toward each other.
“This violence goes both ways… it is obvious you need to work on yourselves.”
Judge Orchard gave Edwards a sentence indication of home detention in January 2023, however at sentencing, acknowledged her starting point should have been higher.
“I have to say, on reviewing this file, I was startled by my own generosity.
“I was influenced by the fact guns of this type are generally found in the hands of people who are likely to be involved in robberies or drug offending but in this case, you had possessed this pistol to deter your partner from further acts of violence against you.
“It was your intention to use this firearm against someone.”
Judge Orchard said Edwards was a mature woman who had engaged well with probation and genuinely wanted to work on her relationship.
“You are showing much more maturity in attitude towards your relationship. You’re getting a chance here because you might find yourself in prison.
“Take this opportunity that’s offered to you. Violence in your relationship needs to be a thing of the past.”
Edwards was sentenced to four months’ home detention and the couple were warned not to associate with each other until work had been done on their relationship.
If you’re in danger now:
• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours or friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people. Scream for help so your neighbours can hear you.
• Take the children with you. Don’t stop to get anything else.
• If you are being abused, remember it’s not your fault. Violence is never okay.
Where to go for help or more information:
• Women’s Refuge: Crisis line – 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 (available 24/7)
• Shine: Helpline – 0508 744 633 (available 24/7)
• It’s Not Ok: Family violence information line – 0800 456 450
• Shakti: Specialist services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and children.
• Crisis line – 0800 742 584 (available 24/7)
• Ministry of Justice: For information on family violence
• Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga: National Network of Family Violence Services
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men’s violence towards women.
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