Homeless man committed for trial on manslaughter charge

17.08.2004 5.00 pm

A homeless man has been committed for trial in the High Court in Auckland accused of the manslaughter of Sheryl Yvonne Brown.

In Auckland District Court today defence lawyer Peter Tomlinson conceded that his client, Gafatasi Samuela, 32, had a case to answer.

Samuela lived under the Karangahape Rd motorway bridge and Ms Brown stayed behind a portacom building in a Beresford St carpark, the court was told.

According to the Crown they met in the early hours of December 11, 2002 and walked from Karangahape Rd down Pitt St and into Beresford St.

At one point Ms Brown told him to f... off.

A little later it is alleged that Samuela followed Ms Brown into the carpark, where she became angry with him.

Samuela is said to have hit Ms Brown in the face and around the head with a bottle, which caused her to fall to the ground, fracturing her skull and causing brain damage.

According to the police, Ms Brown lay where she fell and died several hours later.

When interviewed some months later, Samuela allegedly said that someone else was using his body to assault Ms Brown.

He is currently in the Mason Clinic mental health facility.