Man acquitted of guard's murder gives evidence

8:54 pm on 23 July 2015

The man acquitted of the murder of a security guard has told an inquest into his death that he threw a piece of wood at the guard to scare him but it did not hit him.

The guard, 22-year-old Charanpreet Dhaliwal, died in a pool of blood after being bashed in the head just hours into his first shift at an Auckland building site in November 2011.

Hateni Latu, whose name was suppressed at the trial over Mr Dhaliwal's death, was acquitted of his murder and manslaughter in 2013.

Latu's evidence today at the inquest in the North Shore District Court contradicts that given by two witnesses yesterday who said they saw him bash Mr Dhaliwal with the piece of wood.

Latu, who is currently in prison, said he picked up the metre-long piece of wood when Mr Dhaliwal was telling them to leave the site.

He said he threw it at Mr Dhaliwal to scare him but it did not hit him.

Latu said one of the other men punched the guard and kneed him in the head when he fell to the ground.

The lawyer assisting the coroner, Fletcher Pilditch, said the story did not match evidence given by other witnesses and accused Latu of making it up.

Latu said he was at the inquest to tell the truth.

Better training might have prevented death

A security expert, meanwhile, said better training might have prevented Mr Dhaliwal's death.

First Security manager Michael Rutherford said the guard was working alone in a difficult environment that had poor fencing, poor lighting - and that was isolated but close to a number of bars.

He said the site was too raw for a guard with little experience.

"It's most unlikely we would ever put such a person on a single-person site like that, immediately. We would put them in a group environment so they get a lot better feel for what it is; they've got other people there, other officers there."

The company that employed Mr Dhaliwal, CNE Security, was cleared of failing to provide a safe workplace.