3 years jail for McDonalds manslaughter
Wed, 06 Jul 2011 1:22p.m.
By Dave Goosselink
A 23-year-old Christchurch man has been sentenced to three years in prison, after the man he assaulted in a Dunedin McDonalds restaurant died as the result of a brain haemorrhage.
In the Dunedin High Court this morning, Matthew Bryce Larson admitted the unprovoked attack on 51-year-old Stephen Radnoty, in the early hours of March 12.
Larson had travelled from Christchurch to Dunedin for the birth of his son, and after an evening of celebrations visited the McDonalds Restaurant in George Street with friends at around 4.30am.
The group allegedly got into an argument with Mr Radnoty and his friend while waiting for their orders inside the restaurant, although neither knew each other.
Larson claimed he responded to a comment by the victim by punching him with a single blow to the right side of the head.
Mr Radnoty fell backwards onto the floor, hitting his head heavily on the hard tiled floor. He was resuscitated at the scene by paramedics after his heart and breathing stopped, but didn't regain consciousness and died shortly after in hospital as a result of a brain haemorrhage.
Larson had 27 previous convictions, including one for violence, in which he assaulted a female, and five for excess breath alcohol offences.
Justice Chisholm accepted the violent attack was not premeditated but was not justified by the single comment. He blamed the incident on all too typical "alcohol-fuelled stupidity". He noted the defendant had previous issues with alcohol abuse.
Larson was sentenced by Justice Chisholm to three years in prison for the single charge of manslaughter, after taking into account the various aggravating and mitigating circumstances.
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10/07/2011 11:17:37 p.m.
There is clearly a discrepancy between the opinions of the judges presiding in New Zealand and that of the general public. Anyone with any sense of justice surely agrees that 3 years for killing a man is a disgustingly light sentence. Shame on you the judge that allowed this to happen.
Michael Swann was sentenced to 9 years and six months on fraud offences. Granted, he was skimming public money from the healthcare sector so a stiff sentence was indeed appropriate. Do these sentences reflect the feelings of the public? Are we really saying that stealing $16M of public money is a worse crime than killing a man?
Sympathys to the Radnoty family, hopefully Steve's death fuels enough public anger to make some changes in the right direction to the New Zealand judicial system.
7/07/2011 9:18:49 a.m.
Doreen Collins wrote:
Wow...what a joke this country's justice system is you can get 2 years for repeated drink driving or you can choose to go out drinking, get drunk, bash and kill an innocent person and get 3 years. Why only 3 years for this? My sister has the rest of her life without her partner she has to learn to cope alone what does her partner's killer have...a couple of years locked up then his life will return to normal
6/07/2011 10:37:33 p.m.
Carol Radnoty wrote:
I am totally gutted about the sentence as I got the life sentence and he got 3 years :( You get higher penalties for burglary etc or for harming animals
6/07/2011 9:03:34 p.m.
18 months for killing a cat 3 years for killing someone whats wrong with these judges. Could happen to anyone of us but it's good to know the courts will punish those who commit the crime with a sentence that will make other laugh at our courts.
6/07/2011 5:37:28 p.m.
Three years for this is a disgrace. The judge needs to be sacked.
6/07/2011 4:36:48 p.m.
At least his child won't be exposed to his behaviour for a few years.
6/07/2011 4:31:14 p.m.
Kojo Menu wrote:
What aggravating and mitagating circumstances?? NZ courts are a joke he'll be out in 18mths and can bet it won't be long until the next time he attacks someone
6/07/2011 4:19:25 p.m.
Jan Murray wrote:
3yrs for killing a dog 3-4yrs for killing seals 3YRS for KILLING STEVE u tell me where the justice is in that he had just been released from prison and had conditions he didnt abide by this so unfair his daughter will never be able to walk up the aisle with Dad on her arm but he will have that chance with his son
6/07/2011 4:13:01 p.m.
nick a wrote:
as the judge said typical "alcohol-fuelled stupidity". Imagine if they were under the influence of some other drug...like chronic...it would be both on close up and campbell live tonight talking about how something must be done, hahaha the silence when it comes to alcohol is baffling.
6/07/2011 3:06:17 p.m.
Only in New Zealand, where an ex-con gets 3 years for killing someone (intentionally or otherwise) through assault. Amazing justice system we have here...
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