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Former rugby star Matua Parkinson admits gun offenses, blames actions on head injuries

Matua Parkinson news

Former international rugby player Matua Parkinson has confessed to purchasing firearms and illegally selling them to an unlicensed individual, faking a burglary, and submitting a false insurance claim.

Parkinson admitted to buying five Alfa Carbine rifles for $10,488 and parts for $450 in cash from two stores in Auckland in June 2022, then passing them on to an unlicensed person.

Four months later, he falsely reported the rifles stolen, claiming his entire gun safe had been ripped from his Western Bay of Plenty property. An insurance claim for the stolen items was paid out, but an ESR analysis revealed the safe was never stolen. Judge Louis Bidois.

Defence lawyer David Pawson attributed Parkinson’s actions to head injuries sustained during his rugby career, citing over 700 games, including many for the Māori All Blacks.

Pawson suggested a cultural report could provide further background, but Judge Bidois dismissed the idea, highlighting Parkinson’s successful career and rise above a challenging upbringing. The judge found the premeditation of Parkinson’s actions concerning, despite the defense’s claim of “stupidity rather than sinister” motives.

Parkinson will be sentenced next month.

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