NSW DJ Chris Bradley was allegedly punched in the head by a young kickboxer with a “short fuse” before he dropped to the ground and died at a party on Christmas Day.
One witness to the alleged attack at Byron Bay told police the blows sounded “unlike anything I’ve ever heard before”, the NSW Supreme Court heard on Thursday.
Accused attacker Javen O’Neill has since been charged with the murder of 28-year-old Mr Bradley who was also known as Dad Bod. O’Neill, 24, will remain in custody after prosecutors successfully sought a detention application despite efforts by his lawyer to suggest another possible cause of death.
Prosecutor Jason Rafeeq told the court O’Neill was a trained Muay Thai kickboxer with an “underlying short fuse” and three witnesses, including his girlfriend, said they saw him punch Mr Bradley before he collapsed.
The DJ died as a consequence of blunt-force trauma, according to forensic pathologist Professor Timothy Lyons, who performed the post-mortem examination.
But O’Neill’s lawyer, Dennis Miralis, questioned whether illicit drugs Mr Bradley reportedly consumed that night could have contributed to his death.
The lawyer also argued there were issues with the reliability of witnesses who admitted taking drugs.
Mr Miralis said O’Neill’s actions after Mr Bradley collapsed suggested he didn’t have any intent to murder or cause serious injury.
He said O’Neill tried to resuscitate the DJ, saying “come on, you can do it”, and later asked paramedics if Mr Bradley could have died from a punch.
However, Justice David Davies said that based on the evidence before him, the Crown’s case was reasonably strong.
The judge said there was evidence O’Neill had anger management issues, was known to binge on alcohol and drugs, and could offend if released on bail.
One witness told police the accused was “a beautiful soul but he has another side to him” while another said: “He is a big guy and knows how to hit.”
Justice Davies agreed with the Crown’s application for O’Neill to remain in custody. O’Neill, who put his head in his hand after the decision, is scheduled to reappear in a Lismore court on January 16.