20 Dec 2011

Former Blenheim nightclub owner wins appeal

3:37 pm on 20 December 2011

A former Blenheim nightclub owner has had his manslaughter conviction quashed.

In February this year, Kevin King was sentenced to 12 months' home detention after a man died from brain injuries following an altercation at Shapeshifters nightclub in August 2009.

Last year, the Wellington High Court was told Mr King intervened in an altercation between 24-year-old Matthew Heagney and a bouncer.

The court was told Mr King put Mr Heagney in a headlock before throwing him on the footpath where he hit his head on the concrete.

On Tuesday, the Court of Appeal granted an appeal, quashed Mr King's conviction and ordered a retrial.

Two of the three Justices deciding the appeal found that the trial judge should have directed the jury to agree that the cause of death was either the headlock, or dropping Mr Heagney on the ground, or both.

The judges say the jury should not have been allowed to disagree on which of these caused the death.