23 Mar 2009

Auckland student's death accidental, says defence

2:29 pm on 23 March 2009

The defence lawyer for a man charged with the murder of an Auckland Grammar student says the death was accidental.

Haiden Mark Davis, 20, is charged with the murder of Augustine Borrell after a party in the Auckland suburb of Herne Bay on 8 September 2007.

The Auckland Grammar student, who was 17, died after being stabbed in the heart.

Mr Davis has earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder.

Crown Prosecutor Sue Gray told the jury at the High Court in Auckland that Mr Davis deliberately stabbed Augustine Borrell having armed himself with a knife after an earlier unrelated confrontation.

Defence lawyer Simon Lance said Mr Davis did not consciously mean to cause the death and a verdict of murder is not appropriate.

At the beginning of the day's proceedings, Mr Davis sat in the dock, head bowed, silently crying. Family and friends of both Mr Borrell and the accused filled the public gallery.

The Crown is expected to call 50 witnesses and the trial is set down for three weeks before a jury of seven men and five women.