An Australian man has been found not guilty of murdering a burglar he found in his home and chased down the street before viciously beating him.
Benjamin Batterham, 36, was drinking with a friend at home when he saw Ricky Slater, 34, standing at the entrance of his daughter's bedroom in the early hours of March 26, 2016.
On Wednesday a Newcastle supreme court jury accepted Batterham's claim he was trying to make a citizen's arrest when he put Slater in a chokehold and repeatedly punched him until police arrived, ABC News Australia reported.
Batterham was charged with murder following the event, and there was also a back-up charge of manslaughter.
Slater suffered a cardiac arrest at the scene but was revived by paramedics.
He had two more cardiac arrests in hospital the following day and died after his life support was turned off.
The Crown argued Batterham choked Slater to death, but the defence claimed there was no proof Batterham caused Slater's death, saying he could have died from a heart attack or the toxic levels of meth in his system.
Slater was also obese and had a pre-existing heart condition.
The jury was told by Justice Desmond Fagan that chokeholds would normally constitute an assault, but they had to decide if it was unlawful in a citizen's arrest.
He said Batterham would be not guilty if he believed he was defending himself.
Slater's family could be heard screaming as they left the court after the verdict was delivered.
Outside court, they had a message for Batterham.
"Look over the back for the rest of your f**king life you motherf**ker," Slater's mother Beryl Dickson told 7 News.