8 Jun 2009

No police decision yet on tape-over-mouth death

8:39 pm on 8 June 2009

Police in Nelson say it is too early to tell whether charges will be laid over the death of a man whose mouth was taped shut by flatmates during a drinking session in Motueka on Sunday night.

Michael James McGrath, 51, a sickness beneficiary, stopped breathing at a house in Boyce Street, Motueka, and could not be revived.

Detective Sergeant Kevin Tiernan says police were told that Mr McGrath's foul language led to his mouth being taped.

Mr Tiernan says the tape was removed within a few minutes and CPR started.

He says officers will carry out further interviews on Tuesday, and will await toxicology results before making a decision on whether to lay any charges.