No conviction for man who supplied minor with alcohol

Brendan Perrin (centre) arrived at court surrounded by family (Newshub)
Brendan Perrin (centre) arrived at court surrounded by family (Newshub)

Brendan Perrin, 22, has been discharged without conviction after pleading guilty to supplying alcohol to a minor who later died as a result.

Perrin appeared for sentencing in the Greymouth District Court court on Tuesday morning where we was joined by family of the victim.

Mitchell Heward was 17 years old when he died at a party on February 13, 2016 at Lake Kaniere near Hokitika.

The victim's mother, Jan Heward, says Mr Perrian was the wrong person to charge.

"Definitely, it's not his fault Mitchell died," she said outside of court after the verdict.

Mr Heward's father Ron says Mitchell was put under a lot of pressure to drink at the party.

"We understand that there was some Midori used in a funnel and tube and tipped down his throat," he says.

"It was wrong that the police [made him carry] the blame for what went on, we think the blame clearly lies with those that pressured him."

Police said partygoers were drinking excessively from a funnel and tube that night and no one realised Mitchell was in trouble. He died at the scene, Fairfax Media reports.

During a court appearance in September 2016, Perrin's lawyer said his client admitted he knew what he was doing was wrong.

Mitchell Heward was 17 years old when he died (supplied)
Mitchell Heward was 17 years old when he died (supplied)

"Mr Perrin was given some money by the deceased to buy a box of beer for the driver of a motor vehicle as payment for that," his lawyer said.

"Mr Perrin knew that Mitchell was going to have a couple of bottles and knew what he was doing was wrong."

Perrin said Mitchell was pressured into drinking heavily by others at the party.

"When they got to the lake there were a group of about half a dozen people," his lawyer said.

"Mr Perrin went for a swim and Mitchell Heward was encouraged and goaded by some others there to indulge in beer bongs with three bottles of [beer] and to skull a half a bottle of vodka."

Perrin returned after his swim to find Mitchell had been vomiting, and tried to help the teen by putting him in the recovery position.

Newshub.