Family forgive man whose alcohol killed their son

Last year 17-year-old Mitchell Heward died after drinking beer and spirits through a funnel at a West Coast lake party.

Today the man who supplied his under-age mate with the alcohol escaped conviction - with the blessing of Mitchell's family.

Mitchell choked on his own vomit after drinking during a trip to Lake Kanerie near Hokitika with friends in February.

Brendan Perrin brought the beer and was out swimming in the lake during the drinking games.

When he got back, it was too late - Mitchell was unresponsive.

Police charged 22-year-old Perrin with supplying alcohol, to the disgust of the Heward family.

"We think the blame clearly lies with those who pressured him, Mitchell was a very trusting person and he just didn't what he was getting himself into," Mr Heward says.

In court, Judge David Saunders found Perrin made a bad mistake by bringing the beer, but agreed he was not involved in the drinking games that led to the 17-year-old's death and ruled there was no need for a conviction.

The Heward family wrote to the judge in support of Perrin and welcomed the judge's decision.

A grieving family rallying together around their son's friend in the face of the needless loss of life.