Alleged Brisbane M1 murderer home for Christmas

A NEW Zealander accused of a road rage murder after the man he allegedly punched fell into the path of a garbage truck can spend Christmas with his de facto partner and their three young children.

But Tamate Henry Heke, 36, is not allowed to drive, his family will lose a $100,000 surety if he does anything wrong and he has surrendered his passport.

He is charged with murdering Shane Merrigan, 50, after a road rage incident on the Gateway Motorway at Eight Mile Plains on December 1.

Brisbane Supreme Court heard on Thursday that Merrigan had an alleged history of road rage complaints while he was a professional driver.

Justice Roslyn Atkinson, who granted Mr Heke's strict bail, said she concluded there could be a "strong" case for manslaughter but the case for murder did not appear as strong.

She said Mr Heke appeared to be a "model citizen" before this incident.

"This is a very shocking offence that took place in full public view, but there are conflicting accounts of it," she said.

Justice Atkinson said there was little the truck driver could do to avoid Mr Merrigan when he fell on the roadway.


  • An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated murder accused Tamate Henry Heke had a road rage history. It was Shane Merrigan, who died in the incident, who allegedly had many road rage complaints against him when he was a professional driver.

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