Man accused of fatal punch on trial
Mon, 13 Aug 2012 7:35p.m.
The trial of a man accused of punching a Sky TV worker so hard his head made a "sickening thud" when it hit the footpath is underway in the High Court at Auckland.
Kit John Murray has pleaded not guilty to a charge of manslaughter following the death of Billy Dawson, 34, in October last year.
Crown prosecutor Natalie Walker told the court today that Mr Dawson had been out celebrating with other colleagues after a busy schedule of covering Rugby World Cup matches.
Mr Dawson had just left Spy Bar in the Viaduct Basin when he was approached by Murray.
Murray put his hand on Mr Dawson's chest and walked him backwards. Without provocation, Murray then punched Mr Dawson in the face.
Ms Walker said witnesses described the sound as his head hit the footpath as a "sickening thud", APNZ reports.
While people went to the aid of Mr Dawson, Murray and his friends got into a taxi and continued drinking at other bars, Ms Walker said.
Mr Dawson died in Auckland Hospital the day after the alleged attack.
Murray's defence lawyer Andrew Speed has asked the jury to keep an open mind and consider the possibility of self-defence.
The trial is set to take two weeks.
It's expected 52 witnesses will give evidence.
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24/08/2012 9:52:29 p.m.
This is why we tourists don't come to New Zealand anymore. Too many heroes and too many soft sentances, it's about time judges took this type of violent criminal activity seriously and threw the book at offenders. As far as i am concerne the soft sentancing is aiding and abetting the criminal and zero tolerance is the only way to deal with it.
14/08/2012 11:00:59 p.m.
I am an international. I write so Kiwis can see the effect these things have overseas on their country. For the international community to accept NZ as a safe place, thugs like this have to be sentanced heavily, strongly, without mercy and publically. Anything else is simply a poor reflection on the country, its governance and people.
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