New Zealander Tamate Heke found guilty over Queensland road-rage death

New Zealand man Tamate Heke has been found guilty of unlawful striking causing death after a road-rage argument on a Brisbane motorway turned deadly.

Heke had also been facing a charge of manslaughter, but was found not guilty on that count by a jury after half a day of deliberations, 7 News reports.

He had originally faced trial for the incident in 2017, but a jury in the first trial failed to reach a verdict.

The Brisbane Supreme Court heard Heke was on his way home from a day of work in late 2015 when he was tailgated and challenged by 50-year-old Shane Merrigan.

According to Heke, Mr Merrigan persuaded him to pull over and confronted him in on the side of the road before pushing and punching.

He says he pushed Mr Merrigan away, but tried to catch him as he fell into the path of a truck travelling 90km/h.

However Crown prosecutors argued Heke threw a heavy punch in anger and was not acting in self-defence.

Before his death, Mr Merrigan had a history of road rage and his employer had received complaints about his behaviour between 2010 and 2012.

He received a formal warning and counselling about his driving in 2011.

Heke is expected to be sentenced on Friday.


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