15 Nov 2013

Manslaughter charge over Tarun Asthana death

7:49 pm on 15 November 2013

A naval rating has been charged with manslaughter after the man he is accused of attacking died in hospital.

Grenville McFarland is alleged to have hit Tarun Asthana in downtown Auckland on 2 November.

After being punched once, Mr Asthana fell to the ground and hit his head on the pavement. The 25-year-old was taken to hospital and placed on life support but died two days later.

Mr McFarland, 27, was initially charged with assault. As a result of Mr Asthana's death the charge was withdrawn and a new charge of manslaughter was brought at the Auckland District Court on Friday.

Mr McFarland will next appear in the High Court in Auckland on 4 December.

A Defence Force spokesperson said Mr McFarland remained on duty but was complying with his bail conditions.

Radio New Zealand is seeking comment from Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman.