A Blenhiem man died from a catastrophic head injury suffered when he was thrown out of a bar in the town, a jury has been told.
Kevin King, former owner of Shapeshifters Bar and a bouncer, is before the High Court in Wellington charged with the manslaughter of Matt Heagney.
Crown prosecutor Mark O'Donoghue told the court Mr Heagney snuck past a bouncer in the early hours of 23 August last year to see his girlfriend who was already inside.
As he was leaving a short time later he was accosted by two bouncers and the accused held him a headlock, rendering him unable to protect himself.
Mr O'Donoghue said the Crown's case was that the incident ended with Mr Heagney being thrown or dropped backwards on to the footpath and seriously injuring the back of his head.
However, Mr King's lawyer says Mr Heagney was struggling and it took three bouncers to remove him from the bar.
He said his client was entitled to remove Mr Heagney and his actions were reasonable.
A friend of Mr Heagney says he was not an agressive or violent person and when he'd been drinking he was a happy drunk.