SA drug user not guilty of manslaughter

Michael Ramsey

An Adelaide man accused of stabbing a fellow drug user after telling him he had a small penis has been found not guilty of manslaughter.

Jeffrey Szanto, 43, told South Australia's Supreme Court he was acting in self-defence and did not intend to kill 27-year-old Shaun Green during the confrontation in April.

The jury late on Thursday returned a unanimous not guilty verdict after about 90 minutes of deliberation.

The court heard both men were under the influence of methamphetamine and cannabis when they searched a driveway for Mr Green's misplaced drug pouch.

Prosecutors said Mr Green had become increasingly agitated and stripped naked to prove he did not have the pouch, prompting Szanto to taunt him about the size of the penis.

The pair scuffled and Szanto stabbed Mr Green in the chest.

Szanto took the stand during the trial to claim Mr Green was a cage-fighter and had threatened him with a knife.

"I just thought I was a goner," he said.

"Someone coming at you with a knife ... I was scared shitless, to tell you the truth. I thought that my life was going to end at that moment."

He told the court he stabbed Mr Green with a pair of scissors in an act of self-defence but had been aiming for his arm.

The weapon has never been recovered.

Szanto said Mr Green was "cooked" on meth and consumed by rage on the night of his death.

"I felt bad that he actually accused me," he said.

"It wasn't Shaun that night."

Prosecutors argued that Mr Green was unarmed and his wounds could not have been inflicted with a pair of scissors.

But the jury accepted Szanto's defence after a week-long trial.