Guilty plea to man­slaugh­ter

The Northland Age - - Local News -

A 21-year-old Kaikohe man has pleaded guilty to the man­slaugh­ter of fel­low Kaikohe res­i­dent Christo­pher Vu­j­cich in Jan­uary.

Pa­trick Den­nis Tarawa, who was to have gone on trial on Novem­ber 19, en­tered his plea in the High Court at Whanga¯rei on Tues­day.

Po­lice be­lieve that 58-year-old Mr Vu­j­cich was the vic­tim of a road rage in­ci­dent re­sult­ing from a rel­a­tively mi­nor driv­ing er­ror, when he pulled out in front of an­other mo­torist. The other driver al­legedly fol­lowed him to Kowhai Ave, and con­fronted him when he pulled into a drive­way. As Mr Vu­j­cich turned away he was al­legedly punched from be­hind.

He died in Bay of Is­lands Hos­pi­tal next morn­ing.

Tarawa was ini­tially charged with wound­ing with in­tent to cause griev­ous bod­ily harm, and was re­manded in cus­tody af­ter his first ap­pear­ance in the Whanga¯rei Dis­trict Court. The charge was up­graded to man­slaugh­ter af­ter an au­topsy in Auck­land. On Tues­day Jus­tice Ger­ard van Bo­he­men is­sued Tarawa with a three-strikes warn­ing, va­cated his ear­lier not guilty plea and re­manded him on bail to De­cem­ber 6 for sen­tenc­ing.

PIC­TURE / SUP­PLIED

Christo­pher Vu­j­cich, be­lieved by po­lice to have been the vic­tim of road rage.

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