Not guilty plea to manslaughter

Kenneth Major arrives for his court appearance in Brisbane.
Kenneth Major arrives for his court appearance in Brisbane.

A COFFS Harbour man accused of throwing a lethal punch during a drunken brawl on the Gold Coast's glitter strip two years ago has pleaded not-guilty to manslaughter.

Kenneth Major, 24, and his pregnant partner had driven to Brisbane to watch the Indigenous All Stars NRL match with family when they moved on to Surfers Paradise for some post-game partying on February 14, 2010.

That same night, another man was also in the mood to party but for him, the decision to venture into the notorious clubbing precinct turned fatal.

After drinking at the Bourbon Bar, 45-year-old Api Lai became involved in a fight on the pavement above the famous Cavill Avenue steps.

At some point he was punched in the face, lost his balance, hit his head on the concrete and never got up.

In his opening address to a Brisbane jury on Wednesday, Crown Prosecutor Phil McCarthy said that while the facts that Mr Lai was involved in a fight with Mr Major and that he later died were unchallenged, the Crown would have to prove an "unlawful killing" had taken place.

He predicted there would be varying accounts from witnesses about what happened in the lead up to the fight and said it was for the jury to decide whether Mr Major could have "reasonably foreseen" death was a possible outcome of his actions.

Mr Major handed himself in at the Coffs Harbour Police Station after allegedly hearing from family that Mr Lai had died from his injuries.

His trial is expected to run for a week.

Topics:  manslaughter trial

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