3 May 2010

Manslaughter verdict sought for fatal hit-and-run

9:58 pm on 3 May 2010

The defence lawyer for a man accused of murdering an Auckland woman during a bag-snatching has told the jury it could be excused for considering his client a lowlife.

Christopher Shadrock is on trial in the High Court at Auckland for the murder of Joanne Wang, who was run over in a Manukau supermarket carpark in 2008. Five other men are accused of being accessories.

Mr Shadrock is alleged to have run down Mrs Wang when sher chased after him, trying to retrieve her bag.

His lawyer, Chris Wilkinson-Smith, is asking the jury to consider a verdict of manslaughter, saying his client never intended to hurt Mrs Wang: it was a case of a bag-snatching gone wrong.

He told the jury on Monday that Mr Shadrock did a terrible thing and that they probably consider him a lowlife for snatching bags - but that they must put aside those feelings and judge him only on the facts of the case.

Earlier, in a statement read to the court, the sister of one of the accused described seeing Mr Shadrock driving a white four-wheel-drive like the one in news reports about Mrs Wang.

When she accused him of hitting Mrs Wang, she says, he told her to stop talking about it because it would make him look like a suspect.