Best man found not guilty

Written By miftah nugraha on Rabu, 13 Maret 2013 | 19.55

A CLIFTON Beach man has walked free after being found not guilty of the manslaughter of his best friend at a buck's party.

Nathan James Carins, 30, was this afternoon acquitted by a jury in the Supreme Court in Hobart.

Mr Carins was driving a ute which flipped in a paddock at his home, killing Mr Cripps, who was travelling in the tray, on February 25 last year.

The jury's verdict was greeted with joy by a packed public gallery

Outside the court, Mr Carins thanked the two dozen friends and members of his own and Mr Cripps' family who had attended each day of his five-day trial.

They were wearing blue as a show of support and in memory of Luke.

Mr Carins was visibly relieved when the jury foreman announced the majority verdict after deliberating for just more than two hours.

Flanked by his supporters, he said he was pleased with the outcome.

"I certainly am. I'm happy to be able to spend more time with these people," he told reporters.

"I can't find words to thank them enough.

"If you can find words to explain how great these people are, then you're doing better than me."

"It's not about me, it's about Luke, and I don't really want to talk too much more about it."

Mr Cripps' mother Dawn said Luke's family had stood by his best mate because they knew he did not intend to hurt Luke.

"We knew this was a tragic, tragic accident. Nathan will have his own regrets for the rest of his life," she said.

"We love him dearly. He was Luke's best friend. We're so grateful for the outcome."

The Supreme Court heard Mr Carins had organised his best mate's buck's party, which started with a day visiting country pubs and a game of golf at Orford.

After the group returned for a barbecue at Mr Carins' home, the host went looking for a guest in his ute. Mr Cripps and another man were riding in the back tray.

As he drove into a paddock at the front of the property, the ute hit a rabbit hole and rolled.

Mr Cripps was trapped under the ute and died. He was due to be married the following week.

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