Gentle man killed by 'gutless coward'

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

Jason Karl Blackler (48) was found guilty by a High Court jury today of the manslaughter of Alan Fahey in Dunedin in October 25 in 2016.

Members of Mr Fahey's extended family had sat through the eight-day  trial, and 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 neice Ngarita Webster said outside the courthouse 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].''

Jason Karl Blackler. Photo: ODT
Jason Karl Blackler. Photo: ODT

Her husband, Aaron Webster, said the acronym Blackler had given Mr Fahey of "God" - "Grumpy Old Decorator" - should instead have stood for "gentle old decorator''.

Family members described the 5ft 2in, 66-year-old as a man who did not like confrontation and always had time for them.

"Allan was Allan, 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.'' 

Blackler has been remanded in custody for sentencing next month.

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