27 Aug 2009

Man charged after bridge fall committed to trial

10:48 am on 27 August 2009

The director of a bridge-swinging company has been committed to trial for the manslaughter of a teenage girl who fell to her death.

Alastair McWhannell, 46, was in charge of the rope when Catherine Peters, 18, fell more than 20 metres to her death after jumping from the Ballance Bridge, near Woodville, in March this year.

The Crown says that Mr McWhannell failed to check the length of rope, or tie it, before Miss Peters fell. He had overseen eight successful jumps earlier in the day.

Justices of the Peace in the Palmerston North District Court have found there is a case to answer, after a depositions hearing this week.

Mr McWhannell has pleaded not guilty. He was remanded on bail to stand trial in the High Court.