Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Almost three years for manslaughter after robbery gone wrong

Shaun Murray Robert Innes, 39, was jailed for almost three years today. Photo / Newstalk ZB
Shaun Murray Robert Innes, 39, was jailed for almost three years today. Photo / Newstalk ZB

A man convicted of manslaughter over the death of a low-level North Canterbury drug dealer during a robbery gone wrong has today been sentenced to almost three years in jail.

Shaun Murray Robert Innes, 39, was found guilty by a High Court jury at Christchurch of murdering 51-year-old Rangiora man Tony John Lochhead on September 13, 2014.

His co-accused, Jason William Baker, 40, was also found guilty and jailed for life with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years for his role in using a hunting knife to fatally stab Mr Lochhead and wound his brother, Peter Graham Lochhead, 54.

Innes was sentenced in the High Court at Christchurch to 10 years in jail, with no non-parole period, given that his role on the fateful night, was to simply knock on the Lochhead's door and lure them outside, before he ran away.

But he appealed the conviction and instead pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of manslaughter.

At sentencing this morning, Justice Cameron Mander said Innes' culpability was significantly less than Baker's as he only lured the brothers out of the house and didn't witness the assault.

Tracey Ross, the wife of Tony's late brother Jim, told the court about the emotional toll Tony's death has had on the family, especially his brother Peter who was wounded that night.

Jonathan Eaton QC earlier said it was an "unusual case, factually" and noted that Innes had already served "quite a significant term" in jail.

The 2014 trial heard that the pair had arrived at the Lochhead's White St flat in Rangiora with the plan of robbing them of drugs, guns and cash.

But while Baker, from Christchurch, attacked them, Innes ran off.

And the brothers fought back in self-defence.

Baker cut Tony on his chest, arms, face, neck, ear and lower arm with a hunting knife.

"He got me, he got me f****** good", he said, before collapsing to the floor, with blood coming out of his throat. Peter received non-fatal cut injuries.

Innes and Baker were arrested in the following days.

Today, Innes was sentenced to two years and 10 months imprisonment.

Justice Mander did not find it necessary to impose a minimum period of imprisonment.

- NZ Herald

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