No chance of Craig Field murder trial verdict before Tuesday

Craig Field outside Lismore Courthouse recently.
Craig Field outside Lismore Courthouse recently. Cathy Adams

CRAIG Field will have to wait until at least Tuesday for the jury to deliver a verdict over the murder of Kelvin Kane at the Kingscliff Beach Hotel in 2012.

Crown Prosecutor Lee Carr alleges the 41-year-old former South Sydney Rabbitohs captain threw a fatal punch to the left jaw of the 51-year-old farmer, causing bleeding on the brain resulting in Mr Kane's death.

The defence case presented by Field's barrister, Tony Bellanto QC, was Field threw a punch that landed in Mr Kane's right temple area and knocked him to the ground just seconds after Shaun Fathers threw the fatal blow to Mr Kane's left jaw area.

The jury of seven men and five women heard 13 days of evidence at Lismore Supreme Court from eyewitnesses, neighbours of the hotel, police and forensic pathologists about a fight in the hotel carpark and the subsequent injuries that led to Mr Kane's death.

Justice Elizabeth Fullerton concluded almost a day of summing up the trial and directing the jury at 12.35pm yesterday.

In her summing up, Justice Fullerton directed the jury to consider an alternate verdict of manslaughter if they weren't satisfied beyond reasonable doubt, Field was guilty of murder.

Justice Fullerton said a verdict of manslaughter would apply if the jury were in doubt about Field's intent to cause grievous bodily harm to Mr Kane.

"Self defence may also arise for your consideration if you are all agreed that you have a reasonable doubt as to the accused's intention," she said.

Justice Fullerton drew the jury's attention to Field's evidence where he said: "I was fearful that I was going to cop a punch myself".

She warned the jury to take added care when considering the reliability of Mr Fathers's evidence as he admitted provoking the fight with Mr Kane.

The jury retired at 12.35pm and returned twice yesterday during deliberations, once to request a transcript of the evidence of two witnesses.

The second time the jury returned a juror requested that the jury not sit on Monday as she had a funeral to attend.

The judge ordered the jury to recommence deliberations at 10am on Tuesday.

Topics:  court league murder

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