A man has been charged with manslaughter over the death of a man in Dinsdale last month.

Luke Steven Sheppard, 23, appeared in the Hamilton District Court yesterday charged with the manslaughter of Adam Rawiri Palmer, 26. Police upgraded the charge against Sheppard, who did not apply for continued name suppression, from common assault to manslaughter.

Emergency services were called to a house rented by Laura Marston, Sheppard's former partner, shortly before midnight on August 14. Police arrived to allegedly find Sheppard restraining Mr Palmer on the floor.

Mr Palmer, a former boyfriend of Miss Marston's, was arrested but within minutes his condition deteriorated and by the time an ambulance arrived he was dead.


Police launched an independent investigation to determine the cause of the death. An out of district investigator has been appointed to head a police inquiry into Mr Palmer's death because it occurred while in police custody. The Independent Police Conduct Authority was also notified.

Sheppard was ordered by community magistrate Kathryn Wilson not to enter Hamilton city unless to attend court, where he is due to reappear on the charge on October 2.

He was granted visitation rights with his two young children and was supported in court by a large group of people. One child, Marley, 2, has leukaemia, and Miss Marston received more than $40,000 in donations and a car to help with her financial hardship.