Distracted dad led to 9yo shooting little sister
THE Cairns father whose careless firearm safety led to the shooting of his daughter has avoided jail or a conviction.
Instead he was fined $2500 and ordered to complete safety training.
The man, 47, had pleaded guilty to five weapons offences including omitting to secure a loaded firearm causing grievous bodily harm.
The child shot his six year old sister in the shoulder at their Earlville residence in May.
"A 9mm Glock had been left unattended," police prosecutor Sgt Troy Sutton told the court.
"It was clearly a negligent act."
Police alleged the defendant was cleaning the pistol at his home about 6pm on May 24 and became distracted leaving the weapon in a bedroom.
The court heard the man was also found to be in possession of a taser and a baton.
Martin Longhurst, defending, told the court the incident was "incredibly tragic and incredibly lucky."
"He is not some rogue with respect to firearms," Mr Longhurst said.
"He has been involved with firearms from a very young age."
Mr Longhurst told the court his client had receive extensive firearms training and was also a sports shooter.
"It has affected him greatly," Mr Longhurst said.
"This has affected his daughter greatly and the boy who pulled the trigger."
He said the defendant's wife "was inconsolable for weeks.
He submitted that his client - who had not renewed his firearms licence since the incident - be allowed to keep the weapon but store it with the Sports Shooting Association "at all times."
Acting Magistrate Ross Woodford called the episode "a serious matter."
"A nine year old had the handgun, pulled the trigger and his young sister suffered a shot to the shoulder," Mr Woodford said.
"Make sure you're firearms are unloaded and locked away; you know what children are like."
He did not record a conviction.
The Glock 17 and its variants are some of the most widely used pistols in the world today and are in service with Australian police forces and the military.