Former NRL star Craig Field has been found not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of Tweed farmer Kelvin Kane.
The 12-person jury in Field’s NSW Supreme Court murder trial delivered its verdict yesterday afternoon just before 3pm after six hours of deliberations.
In a unanimous verdict, the jury found Field was not guilty of the more serious charge of murder, but guilty of the lesser charge.
Family members and supporters of both Field and Mr Kane reacted with tears at the verdict, while Field bowed his head.
The former Rabbitohs, Manly and Wests Tigers halfback has been on trial for the murder of 50-year-old farmer Kelvin Kane.
The court had heard the men were involved in a scuffle in the carpark of the Kingscliff Hotel in July 2012.
The defence case presented by Field’s barrister Tony Bellanto QC was that Field admitted throwing a punch which landed in Mr Kane’s right temple area, knocking him to the ground, just seconds after his friend Shaun Fathers had thrown the fatal blow to Mr Kane’s left jaw area.
The Crown case was that only one punch had been thrown by Field.
The trial has been running 14 days.
Following the verdict, solicitor Jim Fuggle made an application for bail until Field is sentenced at a later date, arguing Field was not a flight risk and had met all bail conditions.
Justice Elizabeth Fullerton denied bail.
Justice Fullerton said she would review the question of bail on Monday in Sydney when a date would be fixed for sentencing submissions.
She said she hoped to have a sentence delivered by next week.
Outside the court, Mr Fuggle said the verdict was ‘unexpected’, saying the defence had been ‘quietly confident’.
‘We were pleased on the one count but disappointed on the other,’ he said.
Mr Field is holding up well and we will be talking to him about his options. on Monday.
Family members of both Mr Kane and Craig Field declined to make any comments to media following the verdict.