23 Apr 2013

Nightclub patron pushed down stairs - coroner

3:11 pm on 23 April 2013

The Chief Coroner has found it is highly likely that a man who died from injuries sustained at a nightclub in Christchurch was pushed or thrown down the stairs.

Barry Coleman, 44, died two days after attending a Christmas Eve function at a strip club in 1996.

Judge Neil MacLean has found the neck injuries which led to Mr Coleman's death were non-accidental and sustained through violence.

However, he said eyewitness statements were contradictory and unreliable, and the person or persons responsible remain unidentified.

Nightclub owner Gregory Mather was initially charged with murder, and then manslaughter in 1997.

That charge was dropped before the case made it to trial and no one else was ever prosecuted.