Witnesses in manslaughter trial recount fatal incident

A man on trial for manslaughter ''rested his head on his hands'' when police told him the victim was dead after an alleged incident at a party in Invercargill, the jury heard yesterday.

Interviewing officer Detective Matthew Wyatt testified he told the accused, Nathan Graeme Hall, while he was at the police station, ''the other male involved in the incident was dead''.

Hall has denied the charge brought against him in relation to the February 10, 2018, incident, in which Chanel Lee Simmonds, also known as Chanel Henwood, died after he was allegedly assaulted at the Marist Old Boys' Rugby Football Club.

On the third day of Hall's trial in the High Court at Invercargill, Crown prosecutor Riki Donnelly questioned witnesses about what they could recall that evening.

Crown witness Jayce Fisher told the court he had a ''clear view'' of the incident.

He said he saw Mr Henwood walking in Hall's direction before stopping in front of him.

They kept looking at each other for ''a while'', the jury heard.

Mr Fisher said he saw Hall punching Mr Henwood in the head, followed by a ''couple more'' hits.

When Mr Henwood fell on the floor, Hall looked at him with a ''blank expression''.

Mr Fisher then pulled Hall away and said to him that ''it was enough''.

He said Hall did not seem to want to continue the ''fight''.

''Nathan is taller than me. He could have carried on and pushed me away if he wanted.''

Under cross-examination, Mr Fisher said Mr Henwood first approached Hall and ''they were both holding each other'' during the incident.

Another Crown witness, Renee Blake, said she saw Mr Henwood ''slamming'' his beer bottle on the fireplace and saying,''Let's go''.

She saw a tussle between them and heard the defendant's partner yelling his name during the incident.

She confirmed to Judge David Gendall, after the evidence, that she saw punches from both parties.

The defendant's cousin, Aaron Hall, told the court he considered Mr Henwood one of his ''best mates''.

Mr Donnelly questioned him about Mr Henwood's level of drunkenness on a scale from one to 10.

Aaron Hall answered he would be a seven and said ''he was stumbling around a bit''.

Mr Henwood seemed relaxed and quite confident, the jury was told.

The trial continues.

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