Geoffrey Michael Strong pleads guilty to causing workmate Glenn Canning’s death at Sandgate

Truck driver caused death Geoffrey Strong.
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Scene of an accident at the Crawfords Freightlines premesis on Old Maitland Rd Sandgate where a man died after an incident where a truck and forklift collided. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Scene of an accident at the Crawfords Freightlines premesis on Old Maitland Rd Sandgate where a man died after an incident where a truck and forklift collided. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Scene of an accident at the Crawfords Freightlines premesis on Old Maitland Rd Sandgate where a man died after an incident where a truck and forklift collided. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Scene of an accident at the Crawfords Freightlines premesis on Old Maitland Rd Sandgate where a man died after an incident where a truck and forklift collided. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Scene of an accident at the Crawfords Freightlines premesis on Old Maitland Rd Sandgate where a man died after an incident where a truck and forklift collided. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Scene of an accident at the Crawfords Freightlines premesis on Old Maitland Rd Sandgate where a man died after an incident where a truck and forklift collided. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Scene of an accident at the Crawfords Freightlines premesis on Old Maitland Rd Sandgate where a man died after an incident where a truck and forklift collided. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

TweetFacebook Scene of an accident at the Crawfords Freightlines premesis on Old Maitland Rd Sandgate where a man died after an incident where a truck and forklift collided. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers IT was a minor collision between a truck and forklift in the yard of a Sandgate transport company that should have ended with an apology and a repair bill.

Instead, the truck driver, Geoffrey Michael Strong, and his co-worker on the forklift, Glenn Alan Canning, became involved in a heated argument, before Strong reached up and punched Mr Canning four times in the head.

Mr Canning slumped forward in the seat and was pronounced dead before paramedics could get him to hospital.Strong was charged with manslaughter, but on Tuesday, on what would have been the second day of a trial in Newcastle District Court, he pleaded guilty to the alternative charge of assault causing death.

The offence falls under the state’s new “one-punch” laws, passed in 2014 after several high-profile “coward punch” cases in Sydney, and carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail.

Strong, who remains on conditional bail, will be sentenced in June.

Strong and Mr Canning were both working in the yard atCrawfords Freightlines on August 4, 2015, when the collision occurred about 2.40pm, according to a statement of agreed facts.

A short time later, the pair argued and traded obscenities before Strong walked around the front of his prime mover to where Mr Canning was still sitting in his forklift.

He reached up and punched Mr Canning four times in the head with his right fist.

During his interview with detectives, Strong said: “I thought he was going to hit me because of a sudden aggressive move toward me…so I grabbed him and gave him four quick punches. “There was no full-on aggression, there was no intent to cause anything like this.”

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