19 Nov 2012

Judge warns bouncers to take care when evicting people

9:55 pm on 19 November 2012

A judge hopes a case in which a man died after a bouncer threw him out of a Blenheim bar will lead others to be more careful in similar situations.

In the Wellington High Court on Monday, Justice Kos ordered Kevin King to serve 12 months' home detention, less 39 days he has already spent in custody, on one charge of manslaughter.

King, 53, earlier admitted the charge.

While helping eject Matthew Heagney from the Shapeshifters Bar in August 2009, King put him in a sleeper hold and then released him onto the ground.

Mr Heagney hit his head on the footpath and later died in hospital.

Justice Kos said contrary to the name applied to door staff, people do not bounce and Matthew Heagney's death was an unnecessary tragedy.

The judge said the courts were seeing too many such cases.

Mr Heagney's father broke down in tears as he read his Victim Impact Statement, about how his family had suffered after his son's death.

He said he and his family would never forgive King.