23 May 2014

Naval rating jailed for deadly punch

8:50 pm on 23 May 2014

A naval rating whose punch led to a man's death has been jailed for two years and four months.

Grenville McFarland, 27, was sentenced at the High Court in Auckland on Friday morning. He had pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Tarun Asthana in November last year.

McFarland had been drinking all night and was at McDonald's on Auckland's Queen Street with a woman friend when he met Mr Asthana.

Mr Asthana slapped McFarland's friend on her backside, and McFarland responded by punching Mr Asthana in the head.

The 25-year-old fell to the ground and hit his head on the pavement. He was put on life support in hospital, but died two days later.

Outside court, Detective Senior Sergeant Peter Florence spoke to reporters New Zealanders' drinking habits.

"The new liquor laws are certainly helping, from what I'm aware and there's been less instances since these have come into effect. So it's just a culture thing - this binge drinking, going to town, violence happens."

Mr Florence said Mr Asthana's family were strong and had managed to forgive McFarland.