8 Feb 2010

Fatal punch puts broker in jail for two years

5:02 pm on 8 February 2010

A Queenstown insurance broker convicted of manslaughter has been jailed for two years and ordered to pay $50,000 in reparation.

Mark James Smith died during an altercation at a Queenstown taxi stand last November. Paul Richards admitted his manslaughter and was sentenced in the High Court at Invercargill on Monday.

The court heard how Richards walked to the taxi rank on Camp St after a six-hour drinking session and became involved in a fight with Mr Smith, in the course of which he delivered a roundhouse punch to the latter's neck.

An autopsy subsequently showed that Mr Smith, bleeding from a tear in his vertebral artery, died immediately after that punch.