Craig Field, appearing in Lismore Court charged with a fatal king-hit on Tweed cattle farmer Kelvin Kane.
Craig Field, appearing in Lismore Court charged with a fatal king-hit on Tweed cattle farmer Kelvin Kane. Cathy Adams

Witness stories conflicting in Craig Field king hit trial

NEIGHBOURS and patrons of the Kingscliff Beach Hotel yesterday gave conflicting evidence in the Lismore Supreme Court trial over the alleged king-hit death of Kelvin Kane in 2012.

Former South Sydney Rabbitohs captain Craig Field is charged with murder over the alleged incident on July 15.

Neighbour Maree Hamilton told of seeing two groups of people, silhouetted due to poor lighting, arguing in the carpark.

Ms Hamilton said she saw one punch thrown by a man that felled a man she later learned was Mr Kane.

"I saw the man who appeared to be taller punch the other man in the side of the head," she said.

Lyn Janssen, who was holidaying in nearby units, told the jury she saw a man in a white shirt being restrained by another man, while a third man threw a punch that felled the man in the white t-shirt.

"There was a man in front of him (man in white shirt) who was shorter in a darker coloured shirt," she said.

"He (the man in darker shirt) struck the man in the white shirt."

Under cross examination by Field's barrister Tony Bellanto QC, Mrs Janssen told the jury she could see the punch that hit the man in the white shirt was with a closed fist, although she was watching from 45m away.

"Can you distinguish between an opened hand and a closed fist from where you were?" Mr Bellanto asked.

"Absolutely," Mrs Janssen said.

Ms Hamilton's daughter Rihanne Oram gave evidence of not seeing a man being restrained before he was felled by a punch from one man.

Kingscliff resident Rudi Van Zanten, whose son Reve was coached by Field at the Cudgen Hornets, said he and his son went to the hotel between 6.30pm and 7pm.

Mr Van Zanten and his son sat at a table in the hotel with Field and Shaun Fathers.

Mr Van Zanten said when a woman he recognised as Lyn Berger came into the bar with Mr Kane and went to the toilet, Mr Fathers abused and swore at her.

Mr Van Zanten said both he and Field tried to calm down Mr Fathers.

Mr Van Zanten said another patron, Mark Frost, niggled Mr Fathers during the evening, who grew more aggressive and left the hotel briefly until Field phoned him.

"It's okay mate, come back. I'm your mate, I'll back you up if you need it," Mr Van Zanten recalled Field saying to Mr Fathers.

Mr Van Zanten said he did not see Field being aggressive to anyone all night.

The trial continues today.



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