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Byron Shire
April 15, 2021

Father excused from witness box at murder trial

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By Darren Coyne

The father of accused murderer Craig Field will not be required to give evidence in person at his son’s trail.

Instead, following agreement between both crown prosecutor Lee Carr and Field’s barrister Tony Bellanto QC yesterday, Justice Elizabeth Fullerton will read Mr Field’s police statement in open court.

Field, 41, stands accused that on the evening of July 15, he allegedly delivered one fatal blow to the right temple region of 50-year-old Cudgera Creek cattle farmer Kelvin Kane, resulting in his death

Mr Bellanto told the court his instructions were “that our client does not wish his father to go through the ordeal of giving evidence for the crown”.

He said there was also a medical reason for the decision, which Justice Fullerton accepted.

The court has heard Field told his father that he had punched Kane and that ‘he fell to the deck’.

Field’s barrister Tony Bellanto QC has said his client denied both “the very serious charge of murder and complete denial of manslaughter” and he would attempt to disprove prosecution allegations his client threw the fatal punch.

‘Was Mr Kane punched by another person, and not Mr Field, moments before he fell to the ground?’ he asked during his opening address.

‘Was Mr Field drawn into the situation as a peacemaker?’

During yesterday’s proceedings, detective in charge of the investigation, senior constable Phillip Parker of the Byron/Tweed LAC agreed that a witness, Lyn Burgher, had described how Field allegedly delivered a blow to the right temple of Mr Kane.

‘You would note from the investigation and interviewing witnesses that Mr Kane did sustain a hairline laceration or injury to the right side.

‘ Mr Bellanto asked.

“Yes’, the detective replied pointing to an area above his eye and hairline, near temple.

‘Other witnesses said when Kane was on the ground blood was noticeably coming from that injury. A trickle of blood.

‘You’d also know from the coronial investigation that this injury to the hairline was not the cause of death.

The official cause of death recorded by Dr Carla, the forensics pathologist, was an  injury to the left side of face in the jaw region.

‘That is correct,” Senior Const Parker said.

The court heard Dr Carla would give evidence towards the end of the trial, which is expected to last almost three weeks.

Field is on conditional bail to reside at Bilambil Heights with former NRL player Tony Rampling for the duration of the trial.

The trial continues..

 


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