Man jailed for love triangle shooting

·3-min read

A NSW man who shot dead his love rival after wrongly believing he was reaching for a gun has been jailed for at least four years.

Hohepa Paetai "Joe" Bean fired one shot at his former close friend who had driven his car at him before reaching towards the footwell.

In the NSW Supreme Court sitting in Coffs Harbour on Thursday, Justice Richard Cavanagh jailed Bean for six years with a non-parole period of four years.

The now 46 year old pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Darren Boardman, 40, at Bean's Dundurrabin home on October 18, 2018.

His plea, based on self-defence with excessive force, was not accepted by the crown until his third trial.

Two juries were discharged after failing to reach a verdict on a murder charge.

Justice Cavanagh said Bean was in a relationship with Toni Carter for 20 years, during which time he was good friends with Mr Boardman.

But this ended acrimoniously when Ms Carter became involved with Mr Boardman and spent five days with him in August 2018.

The two men and others exchanged abusive and threatening texts in the lead-up to the shooting.

Bean told Ms Carter: "Don't worry about that scummy c*** my bub I'll blow his head off," ... "It's him who will be dead" ... and "I'm going to kill that fat c***".

He told Mr Boardman: "I'm in town scumbag bang bang. Enjoy your last days on earth you dog c***... see you in hell".

Mr Boardman told Bean: "I don't care what happens to me but I will guarantee going to smash my car into your car shed ... You can ask Toni, I f***ing love her."

Mr Boardman and Ms Carter travelled to Queensland but returned in October when she was dropped off to speak to Bean.

Mr Boardman waited in a nearby park, exchanging aggressive and taunting texts with Bean, before driving to the house.

Mr Boardman drove straight at Bean who was standing in front of his car.

He jumped out of the way, retrieved his rifle from under his bed and returned to where Mr Boardman was sitting in his car.

He raised the rifle before pointing it at the ground, but when Mr Boardman reached towards the floor, fired the fatal shot.

"The offender believed Mr Boardman always had guns with him and would have had a gun with him that day," the judge said.

He rejected the crown submission that Bean intended killing his former friend and his reaction had been grossly unreasonable.

Bean was of previous good character and had lived a law-abiding life, while Mr Boardman was known to use standover tactics, be quick-tempered, have guns and use the drug ice.

Referring to the texts, the judge concluded Bean was trying to "stand up to Mr Boardman or match his threats" knowing of his background while he himself was not that type of person.

He accepted that Bean was "hypervigilant" stemming from him having complex PTSD arsing from events in his childhood in New Zealand.

Mr Boardman's family's victim impact statement had revealed the great pain and significant loss suffered by them, the judge said.

"I accept prior to this offending, the offender lead a quiet and purposeful life."

He also accepted he was remorseful and unlikely to reoffend.

With time already served, Bean will be eligible for release on parole in October.

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