Ex-NRL star confessed fatal punch in conversation with dad
FORMER NRL star Craig Field will stand trial for murder over the death, allegedly by king-hit, of Kelvin Kane at the Kingscliff Beach Hotel.
Magistrate Jeff Linden found there was sufficient evidence that Field threw the fatal blow.
However, Mr Linden found there was not sufficient evidence for a jury to convict Field's co-accused Shaun Fathers and dismissed charges against him of murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
He laid a fresh charge of affray against Fathers. The matter will be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions and was adjourned until January 21 at Lismore.
The magistrate read from a sworn statement by Field's father that Field told him his co-accused Shaun Fathers was in a fight at the hotel on the night of July 15, 2012 and sustained a split lip.
The statement said Field said, "I hit him (Kane), Dad, and he fell to the deck."
Mr Linden disagreed with a submission by Field's solicitor James Fuggle that the elements required to prove murder were not made out in evidence and his client should face the lesser charge of manslaughter.
"I am satisfied that the evidence is there for a jury to decide," Mr Linden said.
On the final day of the committal hearing involving Field and Fathers, evidence was given by Dr Allan Cala, the forensic pathologist who did Mr Kane's autopsy.
Dr Cala told the court Mr Kane suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain) caused by a blunt force head injury to the lower left side of his face.
Dr Cala said Mr Kane quickly went into cardiac arrest after sustaining the head injury.
He said he found no evidence the injury was caused by Mr Kane's head hitting the ground following the punch.
"I am of the view that a blow to the left side of the face is in fact the cause of the subarachnoid hemorrhage," he said.
Field's trial date will be set at an arraignment hearing in the Supreme Court in Sydney on February 21.
He is on bail.