Parole granted for balcony killer

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 15:10 18/06/2014

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An Auckland man who prised his friend's fingers off a balcony guardrail, causing him to fall almost 4m to his death, has been paroled.

Barry Harwood, 69, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and assault over the death of Stewart Paul Kingi on March 10, 2010.

He was sentenced to three years, seven months, with a sentence end date in March 2016.

The Parole Board today released a decision granting Harwood parole.

Harwood killed Kingi after a day of drinking at his flat.

Kingi wet his pants and Harwood became enraged, yelling obscenities at Kingi and punching him.

He then took Kingi out onto the apartment's balcony, and forced Kingi over the handrail, leaving him hanging by his hands.

As Kingi attempted to swing his leg up and climb back onto the balcony, Harwood prised his fingers off the rail, causing him to fall 3.9m to the ground below.

Kingi landed headfirst on a concrete edging and suffered a fractured skull, and internal and external bleeding.

Harwood returned inside his flat and made no effort to check on Kingi or call for help.

A neighbour who heard the commotion called an ambulance.

Kingi died in hospital the next day.

The Parole Board said Harwood had a low risk of re-offending but it was concerned for the safety of the community if Harwood resumed drinking.

"His risk is concerned with his abuse of alcohol. That is what needs to be addressed. We have however reached the conclusion that the risk to the safety of the community can be managed by Mr Harwood's release upon strict adherence to parole conditions."

The Board imposed conditions that he not possess or consume alcohol or drugs and that he undertake treatment for his alcoholism.

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