Darrin Bonnici, 31 of Sta Lucija was today condemned to a six-month jail term suspended for a year after being convicted of involuntarily shooting a friend.

Bonnici had accidentally shot Kyle Gili in the head while hunting. The gunshot had grazed Mr Gili's head, slightly injuring him.

The incident happened on January 20, 2010 in the outskirts of Zabbar.

Magistrate Edwina Grima said this was an unfortunate accident between friends and the facts had not been contested.

She said the accused had known that his friend was close by, to the extent that he asked him to get down and not to move until he fired at a bird he had seen.

But when he missed the shot, he was so bent on shooting the bird that he followed its flight-path with his gun, without paying attention to the whereabouts of his friend and without warning him when he fired again.

Therefore there was an element of negligence.

However there was a contributing factor in that the victim had moved while his friend was still shooting.

The court said a prison sentence was not justified since the two were still friends.

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