15 Feb 2016

Coroner backs police over one-punch death

1:02 pm on 15 February 2016

A coroner has found a man who killed another man with a single punch a decade ago struck with disproportionate force.

 David Crerar

David Crerar Photo: Otago Daily Times

Nicolas Munro, 18, died a few days after being hit by a single, heavy punch outside a central Dunedin bar in March 2005.

The case became a 10-year-legal wrangle, with Mr Munro's family pushing to have manslaughter charges laid.

In his findings into the inquest into Mr Munro's death, Coroner David Crerar found the man who hit Mr Munro, Sam Scott, should not have struck out the way he did.

Coroner Crerar said Mr Scott acted out of proportion to any threat from Mr Munro, who was shorter and very drunk.

But the coroner also found Mr Munro had been insulting and hitting Mr Scott.

Police investigated the matter twice, but decided a jury would find Mr Scott acted in self-defence.

Coroner Crerar said police appeared to have acted properly in their dealings with the matter.

Sam Scott is being named today for the first time since 2008 in connection with this case.

Coroner Crerar had given Mr Scott interim name suppression, but refused an application for permanent name suppression, saying there was a stronger public interest in knowing the facts of the case.