The client was with two friends at another friend’s house. Everyone was drinking heavily. An altercation broke out around the pool during which one of the client’s friends was bashed and left to drown in the pool. The second friend provide a statement shortly afterward to police, stating the client was responsible for the death.
After viewing the brief of evidence and taking instructions from the client, it was clear that the Crown had a very strong case in relation to manslaughter, but not to murder. Accordingly, and in collaboration with the client, we offered to resolve the matter on a plea of guilty to manslaughter. This offer was rejected by the Crown.
After requesting further medical evidence as to the cause of death it became clear that there were problems with the statement made by the witness who was present during the incident. The Crown would still not consider reducing the charge.
Two days prior to the trial the Crown acquiesced and accepted a plea of guilty to manslaughter. The client received a sentence of eight years with a non-parole period of six years.