27 Oct 2015

Man who killed with one punch avoids jail

8:21 pm on 27 October 2015

A man who killed another man with a single punch in Wellington last year has avoided jail.

Hariboy Hetaraka was sentenced to 11 months' home detention today, after being found guilty in the High Court in Wellington of Clark McCulloch's manslaughter.

Mr McCulloch - who had drunk a bottle and a half of vodka in the course of a morning - fell back after being punched and his head hit the ground in a Wellington suburb in July 2014.

He later died from severe brain injuries.

Hetaraka's lawyer, Bruce Squire QC, said his client intervened when he saw Mr McCulloch arguing with a woman.

"The judge accepted that the blow was struck without any significant force. The judge also accepted the jury's verdict, and in particular a question the jury asked in the course of deliberations indicated that Mr Hetaraka struck the blow in self defence."