Family outraged by 'gutless coward'

Alan James Fahey
Alan James Fahey
The family of Alan Fahey say he was a gentle, caring man, and his killer is a gutless coward who needs to be locked up.

Jason Blackler (48) was found guilty yesterday of the manslaughter of Alan Fahey in Dunedin on October 25, 2016.

Members of Mr Fahey's extended family had sat through the trial. They cried out in relief when the verdict was read out, before hugging each other in tears and clapping the jury as they walked out.

It was ''absolutely'' the right decision, Mr Fahey's niece Ngarita Webster said outside the courthouse afterwards as the family described a gentle and kind man.

Her uncle was ''the best uncle you could ever have had'' and would do anything for anyone.

''He was a lovely man. The only time I ever saw him get grumpy was if he was reading a book [and she interrupted him].''

Her husband Aaron Webster said the nickname Blackler had given Mr Fahey of God - which stood for grumpy old decorator - should instead have been ''gentle old man''.

Family members described the 157.5cm 66-year-old as someone who did not like confrontation, and always had time for them.

''Alan was Alan. He was mischief, he was a good guy, he would do anything for you. We knew he was an alcoholic and could antagonise people, but he was a good man,'' Mr Fahey's older sister said of her brother.

She described Blackler as ''just a drunk and an idiot'' who was ''not a nice man''.

''Do you do that to a friend? It's just sickening.''

She was angry that Blackler had dragged them all through the seven-day trial and believed he should have just accepted what he had done in the first place, given his history of violence.

''He is a gutless coward.

''He'll do it again and again if he could. He needs to be locked up.''

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