25 Sep 2008

Manslaughter charge changed over bulldozer death

11:52 am on 25 September 2008

A man previously accused of the manslaughter of a Dunedin boy who was crushed by a bulldozer, now faces a lesser charge.

Matthew Birtles, aged three years, died last July, after a day gathering pinecones with family members in Andersons Bay.

Two children were standing behind a bulldozer when it rolled on top of them, instantly killing the boy.

The bulldozer driver, who has name suppression, was charged with his manslaughter, for omitting to take reasonable precautions and care in securing the machine.

At the High Court in Dunedin on Thursday, the Crown downgraded the charge to one of dangerous driving causing death.

The accused will appear in court again on 20 October. He denies the charge.