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19 Mar 2018 12:11
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  •   Home > News > Law and Order

    NZ one-punch killer jailed for six years

    A man who pleaded guilty to the fatal one-punch attack of a grandfather outside a Gold Coast pub has been jailed for six-and-a-half years.

    On the night Tristan Mataora Heather went to the pub to celebrate his 18th birthday with family, he had about 20 beers and killed a beloved grandfather.

    The New Zealander had been in Australia for a few days when his aunt and uncle took him to see a band at the Coolangatta Hotel in December, 2015, and their evening ended in tragedy.

    On Thursday the now-20-year-old was sentenced to six-and-a-half years for the fatal one-punch attack on Trevor Duroux after pleading guilty.

    During sentencing the court heard Heather chatted and drank with family and friends until the pub closed in the early hours of December 4.

    They left and, without warning, Heather punched a man in the head.

    He was then seen shadow boxing a light pole and soon went to intervene in a scuffle between Mr Duroux and another man with whom they had been drinking.

    With a right hook of significant force thrown from behind or beside, he knocked Mr Duroux to the ground causing him to smash his head on the road.

    Mr Duroux ended up in intensive care with serious injuries and was kept alive on life support for 10 days before his family decided to turn it off.

    Heather fled the scene but was later caught.

    In a court packed with family and supporters of both Mr Duroux and Heather, Justice James Douglas described the fatal alcohol-fuelled attack as a "tragic case".

    Statements from three of Mr Duroux's children were read, with all hoping justice would be served on their father's killer.

    "After losing my mother at a young age life was already difficult for me and my family," his son Trevor French wrote.

    "When I thought life couldn't get any tougher I received a phone call no child should receive - your father is in hospital as a result of an act of violence and there is a slim chance he will make it."

    Under Queensland's one-punch laws, Heather won't be eligible for parole until he serves 80 per cent of his sentence.

    His sentence comes two weeks after fellow New Zealander Tamate Heke was sentenced to six years jail under the one-punch laws .

    Both are expected to be deported when released.

    In October, another New Zealander, Armstrong Renata, was sentenced to seven years' jail for the one-punch attack that killed promising water-polo player Cole Miller.


    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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