Woman pleads guilty to shooting a man in the chest with a bow and arrow in Eaglehawk

Police at the scene of the bow and arrow shooting at a premises on High Street, Eaglehawk, on June 9, 2016.
Police at the scene of the bow and arrow shooting at a premises on High Street, Eaglehawk, on June 9, 2016.

A WOMAN was shooting a full-size archery bow at a target in a bedroom when she accidentally shot a man in the chest with an arrow, a court has heard.

The incident in Eaglehawk left the man with a severed thoracic artery and a laceration to his lung, and he required urgent treatment in Bendigo Health’s intensive care unit.

Kate Elizabeth McGregor, 40, of Box Hill, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo County Court on Monday to one count of negligently causing serious injury.

The court heard McGregor and the victim – her on-again-off-again boyfriend – were drinking and using drugs in a residence on High Street in Eaglehawk on June 8, 2016.

Their host set up an archery target at knee-height in a bedroom, before all three people fired shots from the bow.

The following morning McGregor returned to the bow to fire a few more shots.

The court was told she fired two arrows and was aiming the third when the victim emerged from an adjoining ensuite.

Prosecutor Kevin Doyle said McGregor noticed the victim “in her peripheral vision” and released the arrow, shooting him in the chest.

The man fell to the ground “screaming”. The shaft of the arrow fell out, but the four-pronged arrowhead remained in his chest while he was “bleeding substantially”.

Police at the scene of the bow and arrow shooting at a premises on High Street, Eaglehawk, on June 9, 2016.

Police at the scene of the bow and arrow shooting at a premises on High Street, Eaglehawk, on June 9, 2016.

Police and ambulance attended and the man was taken to ICU where he underwent emergency surgery.

The court heard his life was “in danger”, but he has since made a recovery.

McGregor made full admissions to police and claimed she shot the arrow “accidentally”.

Defence counsel Greg Barns said the pair had endured a “problematic relationship”, but they were not arguing at the time of the incident.

“There was drug use on the part of both parties, on the evening and morning when this occurred,” he said.

“She has expressed full remorse for her actions.

“Ms McGregor has moved to Box Hill to move away from antisocial elements she was associated with in Bendigo.”

McGregor has spent 114 days in custody.

Judge Jane Patrick said it was one of the more dangerous situations she had heard about.

“I’ve never seen something as potentially dangerous as firing bows and arrows like those inside a small space where people might be injured,” she said.

“It’s a big bow, a powerful bow.”

Judge Patrick said McGregor is likely to receive a community corrections order when she is sentenced on Tuesday.