24 May 2017

Man found not guilty of Christmas Eve manslaughter

5:59 pm on 24 May 2017

A homeless man accused of sending another rough sleeper fleeing into the Waikato River, where he drowned, has been found not guilty of manslaughter.

Neville Harris, left, and Tama Retimana

Neville Harris, left, and Tama Retimana Photo: RNZ / Supplied

Neville Harris, 48, was on trial in the High Court in Hamilton over the death of 29-year old Tama Retimana on Christmas Eve last year.

Mr Harris' lawyer argued his client was defending a woman who he believed was being sexually violated by Mr Retimana.

Mr Harris said he was disgusted by Mr Retimana's behaviour because it was inappropriate, and he lost control.

The Crown said Mr Retimana jumped in the water because he feared being attacked a second time by Mr Harris.

The jury of six men and six women took two hours to reach a verdict.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs