Kiwi guilty in Aust road-rage death

New Zealand man Tamate Heke is expected to be sentenced today after being found guilty of unlawful striking causing the death of a fellow motorist on a Brisbane motorway just over two years ago.

A Brisbane Supreme Court jury yesterday acquitted Heke of the manslaughter of Shane Merrigan, 50, on December 1, 2015.

But the jury took three and a-half hours to find him guilty of unlawfully striking Mr Merrigan, who fell backwards on to the path of a garbage truck on the Gateway Motorway.

It was the second time Heke had been on trial over the manslaughter charge, after a jury failed to reach a verdict in 2017.

The court heard the factory worker had been driving home from a 12-hour shift when he was tailgated and challenged to pull over at Eight Mile Plains.

He told police Mr Merrigan came at him, pushed and punched him, before he retaliated, but "didn't mean it".

Crown prosecutor David Meredith had argued throughout the trial that Heke threw a "heavy punch in anger" and was not trying to defend himself.

Mr Merrigan's family is set to make a statement to the media after the sentence is delivered by Justice Peter Applegarth.

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