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Man admits one punch killing

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 09:51 19/02/2014
Tarun Asthana
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TARUN ASTHANA: Was studying to be a teacher.

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A naval rating has pleaded guilty to killing a man with a single punch outside an Auckland takeaway restaurant.

Grenville David McFarland, 27, appeared in the High Court at Auckland this morning where he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Tarun Asthana, 25, a trainee teacher from Sandringham.

The court heard the pair came together in the Britomart McDonalds on the morning of Saturday November 2, 2013 after a night out drinking.

McFarland dropped a drink and Asthana started a slow-clap that no-one else joined in. Asthana went over and shook hands with McFarland who accepted it good-naturedly.

Asthana then turned his attention to a woman McFarland had arrived with. He blew a straw wrapper in her face and said he did it because she was "standing there looking good".

He continued to pester the woman and on the way out of the restaurant Asthana smacked the woman on the bottom "bloody hard", by her account.

McFarland put his food on the ground, approached Asthana and told him: "You're being a f ... .. c ... ".

He punched him once in the left side of the face with considerable force, a police summary said.

Asthana fell to the ground, without breaking his fall, and his head hit the pavement.

He was unconscious, bleeding from the nose and ear, and was taken to Auckland Hospital where he died three days later.

McFarland went home but when found by police admitted punching Asthana, the police summary said.

Today McFarland pleaded guilty and was remanded on bail until sentencing on April 29.

McFarland sought a restorative justice session with the victim's family which Justice Timothy Brewer approved.

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