A good verdict

The Dom Post reports:

As a packed courtroom erupted at the news that Alan Gundry would walk free after shooting dead one of his best mates in self-defence, the young Auckland father simply sank in the dock and cradled his head in his hands. …

After deliberating for eight hours, a jury unanimously found Mr Gundry not guilty of murder and, by a majority of 11-1, not guilty of manslaughter. His lawyer, Graeme Newell, said there would be no celebration at the rare verdict – just relief.

Is that the first 11-1 verdict? Vindicates the law change I think as no way he would have been found guilty but it avoids a retrial.

Mr Gundry and Mr Atkins were friends for years and had spent January 12 eating and drinking at Mr Gundry’s home.

But during the evening Mr Atkins became upset with his girlfriend. They went home and he threw her belongings out of his house. She then fled to Mr Gundry’s house, and Mr Atkins followed.

Mr Atkins had a violent history, including several assaults on his girlfriend and a road-rage incident, the court was told. When he died, he was awaiting trial charged with slashing a man’s face at an Auckland nightclub.

On the night of the killing, he rampaged through Mr Gundry’s home, attacking five others, leaving another party-goer semi-conscious in a pool of blood and assaulting Mr Gundry’s partner, Nicole MacDonald.

It was right to bring it to trial, but the verdict is absolutely the right one, from the media reports.

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