31 Aug 2015

Truck driver manslaughter self-defence, court told

6:19 pm on 31 August 2015

A court has been told that a man accused of the manslaughter of a Wellington truck driver last December was acting in self-defence.

Cruz Murray, 27, is accused of assaulting Bruce Coker and unlawfully causing his death.

The incident occurred on Rossiter Street in suburban Tawa, where both had been socialising at separate houses.

The Crown told the High Court in Wellington that Mr Coker fell on to the road after being punched by Mr Murray, shattering the back of his skull and suffering unsustainable brain injuries.

Defence lawyer Liz Hall said Mr Coker swore at her client and swung a punch at him and Mr Murray instinctively ducked and swung back, hitting Mr Coker on the side of the face in self-defence.

She said the force he used was proportionate and her client did no more or less than what was required to deal with the threat he faced.