Benjamin Batterham has been found not guilty of murder and manslaughter over the death of Richard Slater, the intruder who broke into Mr Batterham's home at Hamilton in 2016.
Mr Batterham had faced a two-week trial in Newcastle Supreme Court which focused on the cause of death of Mr Slater, who had a "potentially lethal" level of methamphetamine in his system, pre-existing heart disease and obesity when he was chased, held down and punched in the head after breaking into Mr Batterham's Cleary Street home in the early hours of Easter Saturday, 2016.
The prosecution case was that while he had a legal right to chase and restrain the man who he saw coming out of his young daughter's bedroom, Mr Batterham "went completely over the top" and was "exacting some form of revenge" when he repeatedly punched Mr Slater, held him in a "choke-hold" and ignored the pleas of Mr Slater and other neighbours to let him up.
In order for the jury to convict him of murder, the prosecution had to prove beyond reasonable doubt that an act perpetrated by Mr Batterham "significantly or substantially contributed" to the death of Mr Slater.
"The accused caused or substantially contributed to the death of Richard Slater by the application of pressure to his neck and downward pressure to his upper body while Richard Slater was in a prone position," Crown prosecutor Wayne Creasey said during his closing address, outlining for the jury what the prosecution said was Mr Batterham's contribution to Mr Slater's death.
But the medical experts were split over the exact cause of Mr Slater's death and the significance that any "choke-hold" had on triggering Mr Slater's three episodes of cardiac arrest, with clinical toxicologist Dr Naren Gunja the only expert who opined that asphyxiation caused Mr Slater's death.
While conjunct associate professor Dr Michael Kennedy, a forensic toxicologist and pharmacologist, discounted the contribution of the "choke hold" and said it was "highly unlikely" Mr Slater would have died had he not ingested methamphetamine.
The remaining experts, among them some of the world's most eminent cardiologists, toxicologists and forensic pathologists, with all their skills, knowledge and experience, could not be certain as to what the primary cause of death was.
A number of those experts gave evidence that either the methamphetamine alone could have killed Mr Slater or said that the level of the drug combined with Mr Slater's pre-existing heart disease was what likely caused his death.
And a number of those experts were highly critical of Dr Gunja's opinion and reasoning.
Dr Gunja, as Mr Batterham's barrister, Winston Terracini, SC, put it: "was on a medical tropical island, surrounded by the ocean, while everyone else is on the mainland".
Either way, the medical evidence never reached the standard required for a jury to be sure beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Batterham "substantially or significantly" contributed to the death of Mr Slater.
And so, after deliberating for about three-and-a-half hours, the jury returned on Wednesday and found Mr Batterham not guilty of murder and manslaughter.
The verdicts were met with silence in the court, but Mr Slater's family and supporters left the courtroom shortly after.
The verdicts must mean that the jury found that the "choke-hold" effected by Mr Batterham did not cause Mr Slater's death and the issue of what his intent was during the struggle became irrelevant.
When it began more than three-and-a-half years ago, the case of R v Benjamin Batterham was widely expected, at least by members of the general public, to be a referendum on self-defence, on castle doctrine.
"There was much talk when Mr Batterham was first arrested by interested people who came up with concepts like "a man's home is his castle, he has the right to do what he wants when someone breaks into his home"," Mr Terracini told the jury during his closing address. "If you read that material it is all nonsense."
After the public hysteria died down and the medical experts began to examine toxicology results and the autopsy findings, the trial was never really going to be about self-defence.
In fact, the legal defence hardly rated a mention during the two-week trial.
Mr Batterham was entitled to chase and restrain Mr Slater in an effort to effect a citizen's arrest, but the case was not about how far one can go when defending their home, their family or themselves.
It was about an intruder who broke into a house at 3am and then fled when he was discovered.
And it was about the sprint and a subsequent struggle to make a citizen's arrest and how that may have combined with the health conditions that Mr Slater had when he broke in the house - the pre-existing heart disease and obesity - and the large dose of methamphetamine he ingested in the hours before.
That is what decided the case or R v Batterham.
Full story in tomorrow's Newcastle Herald.