Finally named: The man who threw punch that led to teen Nicholas Munro's death

Sam Scott threw the punch which knocked Nicholas Munro to the ground causing his fatal injuries. Photo / File
Sam Scott threw the punch which knocked Nicholas Munro to the ground causing his fatal injuries. Photo / File

The man responsible for the death of Dunedin teenager Nicholas Munro can be named for the first time.

Sam Scott threw the punch that knocked 18-year-old Nicholas to the ground on March 6, 2005.

Nicholas Munro. Photo / Otago Daily Times
Nicholas Munro. Photo / Otago Daily Times

Mr Scott was not charged in relation to the death and was granted interim name suppression until this morning, when Coroner David Crerar released his findings on the death.

"It is now clear that Sam Scott ought not to have responded to the insults and assaults by Nicholas Munro in the manner in which he did,'' Coroner Crerar said.

"His reaction was out of proportion to the threat posed to him by Nicholas Munro who was a lot smaller than Sam Scott and was very drunk. The punch which Sam Scott administered was unfortunate in that it had consequences which could not have been anticipated.''

Nicholas died five days after the punch at Dunedin Hospital from cardiac failure caused by his severe head injuries.

He was drinking with friends and his sister in the hours before the altercation outside a Frederick St bar.

He and Mr Scott argued over a taxi.

The pair traded insults and became involved in a scuffle. That settled, but further verbal barbs led to Nicholas throwing a flurry of ineffectual punches at Mr Scott.

Mr Scott responded by throwing a punch which rendered Nicholas unconscious or dazed and disorientated. Nicholas fell to the ground, hitting his head heavily on the road.

Police investigated the matter and did not believe charges were justified. At the insistence of Nicholas' father, John Munro, Detective Senior Sergeant Kallum Croudis reviewed the investigation and reached the same conclusion.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority investigated the police response and cleared any officers involved of wrongdoing.

Coroner Crerar supported the police investigation's finding.

He extended his sympathy to the family of Mr Munro and declined an order to suppress details of Mr Scott.

- Otago Daily Times

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