A Christchurch eye surgeon has admitted trying to murder his former landlord by firing a gun at him in his Lyttelton home.
Dr Ian William Dallison, 66, today pleaded guilty in the High Court to the attempted murder of Alberto Ceccerelli.
The attack in August unfolded while Ceccerelli and his wife were eating dinner in their home and led to eye-gouging and a wrestle on the lounge floor.
Dallison also pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to injure Ceccerelli’s wife, Antje Schmidt, after earlier admitting three firearms charges.
Dallison was armed with nine guns and 167 rounds of ammunition when he drove to the couple’s home in St Davids Street, according to the police summary of facts.
He had been declared bankrupt on the same day in proceedings brought by Ceccerelli, to whom he owed a large amount of money for failing to pay the rent at his commercial building.
Ceccerelli and his wife were sitting at the dinner table when Dallison walked into their house and fired a shot at him.
The round narrowly missed Ceccerelli’s head, lodging in the door frame over his right shoulder.
The couple ended up in a violent struggle with Dallison as they fought to remove the pistol from his grip.
They were wrestling on the lounge floor when Dallison used his finger to gouge Ceccerelli’s right eye and forced the butt of his pistol into his neck.
He also repeatedly hit Ceccerelli’s wife in the back of the head with his gun.
Neighbours called police when they heard Schmidt screaming for help and went to the couple’s house where they managed to restrain Dallison until officers arrived.
The couple spent the night in hospital.
Schmidt suffered concussion, cuts and bruises to her head, swelling over her right eye and abrasions on her wrist, finger and elbow.
The eye-gouging left Ceccerelli with a bruised, bleeding and swollen eye, with the white of his eye protruding over his lower eyelid, badly damaging his vision.
He also had cuts and bruises on his neck, lip and thumb.
Dallison declined to be interviewed by police but told officers at the scene the pistol jammed when he pulled the trigger.
He will be sentenced on 28 April.
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz