Queenstown BB gun youngster sentenced

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A Queenstown student who held a BB pistol to the head of an elderly Asian man has been sentenced to community work.

George McCrostie, 17, pointed the plastic gun at the man in The Mall, Queenstown CBD, on February 2.

Prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin says McCrostie, who was with two friends, yelled out to his victim as he walked by.

The youngster lifted the BB gun up to point directly at the man’s face, tilting it on its side and holding it about three centimetres away.

“The Asian male yelled out in surprise leaning back, away from the pistol,” Collin says.

“The defendant held it there for a few seconds and then pulled it down and held it at his side, laughing as he did.”

A couple walking across Rees Street, by Wilkinson’s pharmacy, witnessed the incident.

McCrostie later dumped the black spring-loaded BB gun in a bin in Earnslaw Park. Police located McCrostie with his friends on the wharf at Lake Esplanade.

Collin says: “In explanation [McCrostie] stated he didn’t know why he pointed it at the male, it was an impulsive thing to do and he didn’t know what he was doing really.”

McCrostie admitted a charge of possessing the BB gun without lawful and sufficient purpose in circumstances which were likely to lead the person to believe it was a pistol.

McCrostie was sentenced to 40 hours’ community work by Judge Christina Cook at Queenstown District Court on Monday.

Defence counsel Rachel Napier described the incident as “an act of stupidity”, brought about by his “young age an immaturity”.

Judge Cook says it was “clearly a foolish and stupid thing to do” and anyone in the vicinity at the time would have been surprised and “potentially quite scared” by his actions.

– Otago Daily Times