December 20, 2019

NATIONALNSW Buck's party drug death: man walks free after best mate died from heroin injection

A man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter over the death of his best mate after they injected each other with heroin during a wild buck's party will not spend a day in jail for the offence, with a judge saying he had acted out of a "misplaced sense of loyalty and mateship".

Walked free: Daniel Gray leaves court after being sentenced to a three-year good behaviour bond.

After a long night trawling Sydney's pubs and clubs on January 3, 2009, Greg Wood, 33, convinced his mate, Daniel Gray, to try heroin with him and the two men purchased $100 worth of the drug at Kings Cross.

They returned to an inner-city hotel, injected each other with the drug and Wood went to lie down.
Mr Gray later described how he thought Wood had fallen asleep until his lips began to turn blue.

"I tried to wake him, just shaking him," Mr Gray told the District Court last month.

When a cold shower failed to revive Wood, Mr Gray began CPR.

"I was in a state of shock - nothing was working, he wasn't responding," he said.

Mr Gray said he called an ambulance but his memory was then a blur.

"All I know is that my friend was lying on the ground, blue, and realising that I was to blame," he said.

Judge Ian McClintock said Mr Gray had participated in the incident out of a "misplaced sense of loyalty and mateship" that had "resulted in a very tragic loss of life".

"The idea to use and inject the heroin was the victim's own," Judge McClintock said.

"It was the deceased who initiated the process of obtaining the heroin ... pressing the offender to accompany him to Kings Cross to purchase it.

The idea to use and inject the heroin was the victim's own

"He negotiated the purchase and it was he who incited his friend to use it to satisfy his own appetite.

"In light of the very low moral culpability, a sentence of moral culpability would not be appropriate."

He said Mr Gray had expressed significant contrition and remorse and suffered from the loss of his friend.

"He's clearly been devastated by the loss of his friend and his life has been inevitably altered," his honour said.

Mr Gray was sentenced to a three-year good behaviour bond, to be served in Western Australia where he works as a crane operator for a mining company.

He looked in relief at his lawyer, Hugo Aston, before walking free from the court.

 

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Hugo Aston

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