That, apparently, was the defense that was put forward by the killer of Navtej Singh, the man shot by thugs in his liquor store and left to bleed to death. Anitelea Chan-Kee, the man behind the gun that ended Navtej Singh’s life claims that the killing was “accidental” because he “did not realise the gun was loaded and did not mean to pull the trigger”. The jury has just found him guilty of murder, so presumably they found his claim as plausible as I did.
That had to be the most spectacularly stupid argument I had ever heard. An accident is what happens when someone is cleaning a loaded gun and it goes off; it is what happens when people drink too much when they are hunting and shoot their hunting partner by mistake. By definition an accident means that you are doing a normally non-fatal activity and something goes seriously wrong (either predictably or unpredictably). Walking into a liquor store with a weapon does not come under that definition. Had Navtej Singh had a loaded gun under his counter and blown Chan-Kee away with it, would the police have arrested Singh because Chan-Kee thought that the weapon wasn’t loaded and therefore attempted to assault Mr. Singh? (Note: the answer to this rhetorical question should be “no”. But, with New Zealand’s politically correct police, who knows?)
The defense was attempting to delve into Mr. Chan-Kee motives for shooting Navtej Singh. It was attempting to suggest the the shooting was unintentional. Unfortunately, the law does not insist on intention before convicting of murder. For a good illustration of this, look no further than the shooting of little Jhia Te Tua. If ever there was a death that was unintentional and accidental, it was Jhia’s. None of the three convicted of her murder intended her death. Yet they now rot in prison for her murder. Because their every action before and after the shooting spoke of their original murderous intention. The same can easily be said of Chan-Kee.
While it is vaguely conceivable that he may have been stupid enough not to check his weapon before pulling the trigger, it is certain that he did not attempt to help Singh in any way after the initial gunshot. Indeed, he hung around the shop waiting for his mates to return from the car almost as if nothing had happened, so any attempt to paint his lack of care for Mr. Singh as a panic reaction is dubious in the extreme. Certainly the Jury thought so.
I confess, I am surprised that Chan-Kee has been found guilty of murder, but his mates have not been found guilty of being accessories to murder. I would have thought there was little doubt that they were accessories considering not one of them attempted to aid Singh, nor did they call an ambulance, nor did they report to the police. I have always thought the maxim of the law is qui tacet consentire – he who is silent gives consent. They did nothing and said nothing about a killing they most assuredly knew about – they were, therefore, aiding and abetting a murderer. Bailey Kurariki went to jail at a very tender age for not a lot more than that.
But for real excuses and hypocrisy, look no further than Manukau City councillor Daniel Newman who pontificates about Singh’s liqour store thus:
““Mr Singh’s death is a tragedy for which the entire community grieves. There is no excuse that can possibly justify the behaviour Anitelea Chan-Kee or his associates.
““But the store where Mr Singh was murdered is also an establishment that is strongly opposed by a large number of Randwick Park residents. That opposition has remained steadfast for as long as the store has been selling alcohol, because residents fear the wider social cost associated with small suburban liquor outlets trading in residential communities.”
“Mr Newman said alcohol purchased at the Riverton Drive outlet was consumed by young people who ended up drunk in local parks, who brawled in the streets and in people’s front yards, and who ended up committing violent acts against innocent residents.””
Ah, yes, silly of me not to see it. Navtej Singh was partly responsible for his own death because his liquor store is destroying the morals of the youth of Randwick Park.
What a load of moralising, politically correct garbage.