Grieving family of one-punch victim plead with court to refuse offender home detention

The grieving family of a man killed by a so-called coward's punch is pleading with the courts not to grant home detention to the offender.

Matthew Coley was blind-sided by Tyrone Palmer, 16, who was drunk on a concoction of cannabis, LSD and alcohol. Source: 1 NEWS

Tyrone Palmer, 17, was sentenced to 22 months jail in August for killing Matthew Coley with one punch on a night out in Invercargill, but he is now fighting that sentence at the Court of Appeal in Wellington.

He was 16 at the time of the attack. 

Matthew Coley's parents were at court today, and his father says home detention would send the wrong message.

This will be handing our youth a licence to kill with minimal consequences - One-punch victim's father

"If Tyrone Palmer's appeal is granted for home detention this will be handing our youth a licence to kill with minimal consequences," Mike Coley said.

Palmer's defence lawyer Fiona Guy Kidd argued the sentencing judge hadn't given sufficient weight to the 17-year-old's rehabilitation and claimed the offender did not know one punch could kill.

Crown Lawyer James Carruthers argued Palmer's sentence was already significantly reduced because of his age and attention deficit disorder, and he would only serve 11 of the 22 months imposed.

The judges have reserved their decision.