A jury has been empanelled and opening arguments delivered at the murder trial of former NRL playmaker Craig Field in Lismore Supreme Court.
Field has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Cudgera Creek cattle farmer Kelvin Kane outside the Kingscliff Hotel on the night of Sunday July 15, 2012.
The court heard that the 41-year-old former rugby league star and his friend Shaun Fathers had been drinking at the pub since 11.30am and were planning to watch the Anthony Mundine boxing match on the big screen there.
Mr Kane arrived at the hotel at about 7pm with friends and the two groups got into a slanging match which then moved to the car park.
But there is no CCTV footage of the incident and the defence argues any one of those involved in the argument could have thrown the fatal punch.
The prosecution hopes to prove Field delivered a single punch to Kane’s temple, which caused his death at the Tweed Hospital on July 17.
Superintendent Stuart Wilkins of Tweed-Byron Local Area Command told media at the time, ‘It was one significant punch that led this man to fall to the ground and hit his head’.
But the deference argues Field was in fact trying to play the peacemaker as an argument amongst a group of men known to each other spiralled out of control.
They say that any other member of the party could have thrown the punch and it could have been his head hitting the pavement that caused the bleeding on the brain that killed Mr Kane.
The prosecution will argue, however, forensic evidence rules out that theory.
Prosecution lawyers have said they will call 24 witnesses but the defence have yet to show their hand.
The trial is expected to last for three weeks.