2 Dec 2010

Former bouncer found guilty of manslaughter

4:26 pm on 2 December 2010

A former bouncer from a Blenheim nightclub has been found guilty of the manslaughter of a patron.

Kevin King was convicted at the High Court in Wellington on Thursday over the killing of Matt Heagney.

Mr Heagney died from a brain injury after he was ejected from the Shapeshifters Bar on 23 August last year.

The Crown successfully argued Mr Heagney, 24, was held in a headlock by King as he left the bar and was then thrown or dropped backwards onto the footpath.

The defence had argued Mr Heagney was struggling and it took three bouncers to remove him from the bar.

The defence said King was carrying a struggling Mr Heagney out of the club with another staff member who slipped, causing King to lose his grip.

Mr Heagney's family broke down in tears when they heard the verdict.

His father, Pat Heagney, says he hopes the case sends a warning sign to the hospitality industry to improve the training of bouncers.

The court granted King bail until sentencing on 9 February.