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Hutt woman found guilty of manslaughter

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/04/2016

The defendant Daryl Kirk © Fairfax The defendant Daryl Kirk The Lower Hutt woman who fatally shot her mother's partner after he went on a drug-fuelled frenzy with a meat cleaver has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Adam Watkins, 39, was killed after he had threatened Daryl Kirk, her mother and others with the weapon at their home in Taita, Lower Hutt in February 2015.

Ms Kirk, 20, pleaded not guilty and claimed she acted in self-defence when shooting him three times with a semi-automatic rifle.

She had been on trial for murder but the jury - comprising of nine women and three men - found her guilty of the lesser crime of manslaughter on Wednesday afternoon.

They had gone out to deliberate on the verdict on Tuesday morning.

The saga began when Mr Watkins began threatening and swinging a meat cleaver at guests at the house following a heated argument with the accused's mother, Kelly Kirk.

He had a cocktail of drugs - including methamphetamine, methadone, amphetamine - in his system at the time.

Kirk told police Mr Watkins trapped her in the bedroom, swinging the meat cleaver near her face.

She grabbed the rifle to scare him but he wasn't deterred so she fired six shots.

Three bullets hit him, including one which ricocheted into his back.

She dropped the rifle and ran barefooted down the street.

He died in the driveway shortly after.

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