WA man acquitted over heart attack death


A Perth man acquitted of unlawfully killing his neighbour, who had a heart attack after they argued about loud music, is sorry for what happened, his lawyer says.

Christopher Malcolm Carkeek, 38, had been on trial in the West Australian Supreme Court charged with manslaughter over the death of father-of-two Brian Burgess, 45, in Seville Grove in May last year.

The men fought about loud music coming from Mr Carkeek's house around 7am and it was alleged he hit Mr Burgess, with the overall stress of the situation causing the victim to have a fatal heart attack.

But defence counsel Judith Fordham argued Mr Burgess unknowingly had a pre-existing heart condition, which made him "effectively a walking time bomb".

On Tuesday, the jury found Mr Carkeek not guilty of manslaughter or assault causing death.

Ms Fordham told AAP after the verdict was handed down that her client was relieved but also sorry for what had happened.

"He has always felt incredibly distressed about what happened," she said.

"Nobody knew that Mr Burgess had a heart condition.

"He could have died at any time."

Ms Fordham said Mr Carkeek would meet with Mr Burgess' family if they were happy to do so, and his family had already expressed their condolences.

"They were neighbours, their kids were friends," she said.

Mr Carkeek did not testify during the trial but Ms Fordham said he told her that if he was to give evidence, he wanted to say he was sorry for the family's loss.