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October 24, 2021

Jury still out in Field murder trial

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Former NRL star Craig Field's murder trial is in its final days in Lismore. (file pic)
Former NRL star Craig Field’s murder trial is in its final days in Lismore. (file pic)

Darren Coyne

Who threw the punch that killed Kelvin Kane?

That’s the question that jurors in the murder trial of former NRL star Craig Field must decide.

The question is integral to the outcome of the trial, which has been taking place in the NSW Supreme Court in Lismore, and is set to resume tomorrow.

The 12-person jury has sat through 13 days of evidence from more than 20 witnesses.

In closing arguments, Field’s barrister Tony Bellanto QC told the jury the defence case was that Field threw the punch that felled Mr Kane just seconds after his friend Shaun Fathers threw the fatal blow that struck Mr Kane in the lower left jaw.

‘The Crown case is that there was only one punch thrown by Mr Field,’ he said.

Mr Bellanto pointed to medical evidence that showed more than one punch was thrown in the fight involving Mr Kane, Mr Fathers and Field.

Prior to sending the jury out on Friday, Justice Elizabeth Fullerton told jurors they must be unanimously satisfied all three elements of murder were proved beyond reasonable doubt.

These elements are that it was a deliberate act of the accused that caused the death, that the accused intended to cause grievous bodily harm to the deceased and that the act of the accused was not done in self-defence.

She also instructed the jury that an alternate verdict of manslaughter was available for their consideration.

She said a manslaughter verdict would apply if the jury was in doubt about Field’s intent to cause grievous bodily harm to Mr Kane.

‘Self defence may also arise for your consideration if you are all agreed that you have a reasonable doubt as to the accused’s intention,’ she said.

The judge ordered the jury to recommence deliberations at 10am tomorrow.

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  1. A tragic event, I feel great sympathy for Mr Kane’s family and loved ones and extend my best wishes to them all.
    I have to ask, if everyone had been drinking lattes that day, would it still have happened?
    Does the message of just how damaging drinking can be need to be amplified?
    How much fitter and healthier, biologically younger, would they all be today – the survivors as well as the victim of that afternoon’s mayhem – if they weren’t in the regular practice of going to the pub for a drink? Or taking a slab home, to celebrate or recognise every single event of note in their lives?
    I know, that sort of question is met with derision in Australia. My son is about to turn 17 and I’d rather he rode a motorbike than took up that arvo-in-the-pub ritual. My luck he’ll probably do both.


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