12 Sep 2011

Triple manslaughter trial begins

3:36 pm on 12 September 2011

A High Court trial is under way for a man charged with the deaths of three young people in a head-on collision in North Canterbury last year.

Jethro Cooper, 16, Kodee Rapana, 15, and 21-year-old Dean McCartney died when their car hit a bus at Woodend in May last year.

The accused, Worthy Redeemed, also known as Lee Errol Silvester, faces three charges of manslaughter in relation to the deaths.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Mr Redeemed was the front-seat passenger and the crown accuses him of pulling the steering wheel to turn the car into the path of an oncoming bus.

The prosecutor told the court on Monday that nothing mechanical was found to have contributed to the crash.

The defence lawyer said evidence will prove the accused is not guilty of any of the charges.

The trial has been moved to the High Court in Wellington due to court disruption in Christchurch following the earthquakes.