A former British army boxing champion has launched a fight to have his manslaughter conviction struck out by claiming his legal counsel fumbled his defence. In March 2000, a jury found Barry Peter Miller, 41, an army physical training instructor with 22 years' service, guilty of the manslaughter of Australian Gary Tait, 34, outside the New Pussy Cat nightclub in Wan Chai on April 20, 1997. He was also found guilty of wounding Tait, who lapsed into a coma and died in hospital nine days later. The trial judge said Mr Miller had punched Tait inside the club and later on the street outside. Mr Miller denied the second confrontation, saying he had been inside the club when Tait had collapsed and had tried to resuscitate him after finding him. He was sentenced to two years' jail by the Court of First Instance and released on June 23 last year. He recently returned from Britain and is now seeking to clear his name. Mr Miller told the Court of Appeal yesterday he had wanted the testimony of former colleague Timothy Best - who testified he saw Mr Miller punch Tait outside the club - excluded, as his friend fitted the description of a man seen close to Tait shortly before Tait's collapse on the footpath. He claimed yesterday it was 'odd' that Mr Best changed his original statement to suddenly point the finger at him after Hong Kong authorities and the British army granted him immunity. 'My first question was why it had been granted and why does he need this,' he said. Mr Miller also told the court he was dissatisfied with the refusal of his defence counsel, John McNamara, to pursue the question of medical negligence after an X-ray and scan did not show Tait had a 10cm skull fracture found later by a pathologist. Mr Miller said he was also concerned he had not received a fair trial as one of the jurors continuously nodded off during the hearing. But he agreed with prosecutor John Reading that he had not told Mr McNamara of this. English teacher Lorna Robertson, who attended the original trial as a spectator, said yesterday she told Mr McNamara she saw a young male juror continually dozing. She said Mr McNamara had told her this was all right because he thought the juror was on their side. Mr McNamara vigorously denied Ms Robertson's claims. 'I can categorically say that if the question of a sleeping juror had been raised with me I would have raised it with the court,' he said. As to Mr Miller's objections to Mr Best's deposition, Mr McNamara said no legal grounds had been found to have Mr Best's evidence excluded. He also said there was no evidence to support alleging medical negligence. Mr McNamara continues testifying before Mr Justice Michael Stuart-Moore, Mr Justice Frank Stock and Mr Justice Gareth Lugar-Mawson today.