9 Dec 2009

Jury finds police officer not guilty of manslaughter

10:22 pm on 9 December 2009

A police officer has been found not guilty of manslaughter in a case where a man was run down by a truck during a foot chase in South Auckland.

In the High Court at Auckland, Constable Clinton Hill was discharged on one count of assault and one charge of perverting the course of justice.

The Crown said after an off-duty Mr Hill arrested George Harris in Manukau in 2004, they were picked up by two on-duty police officers.

The Crown said Mr Hill assaulted Mr Harris in the back seat of the police car.

Mr Harris escaped and was chased by Mr Hill before being run down by a truck.

The jury retired at about 3pm on Tuesday and indicated on Wednesday afternoon it was having trouble reaching a unaminous verdict.

Mr Hill's lawyer, John Haigh QC,says he's delighted with the not guilty verdict.

He says his client's evidence was the only honest account of what happened that night.