A Whanganui man found not guilty of murdering his brother after the jury accepted he was provoked, was jailed for two years and 10 months for manslaughter today.

David Bourke, a 48-year-old meat worker, who shot dead his brother Timothy Barry Bourke, 49, on October 4 last year, was sentenced in the High Court at Palmerston North today.

Burke was found guilty of manslaughter after a trial on November 9.

During the trial, the Crown said Bourke shot his brother three times at close range, twice in the chest and once under the chin while he was sitting in the back seat of a car.

He was stopped by police while driving through Dannevirke, in southern Hawke's Bay, and pulled a shotgun on an officer.

Following a crash north of Norsewood, 19km north of Dannevirke, Bourke fled on foot carrying a shotgun, leaving his brother's body in the backseat. He was found in a golf club toilet block 40 hours later after a massive police manhunt.

The Crown argued his actions were planned and amounted to murder.

However, the defence said both brothers suffered from depression and Bourke was provoked into pulling the trigger following continuous pleas from his brother to end his life.

After eight hours deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty for murder, and also returned a not guilty verdict to a charge of wounding with intent, relating to a farm worker who Bourke shot while on the run.

The provocation defence was abolished by the Government last year but was available to Bourke because the alleged offence took place before the law change.

- NZPA