Ex-Rabbitohs captain to spend Christmas behind bars

FALL FROM GRACE: Craig Field, appearing in Lismore Supreme Court for a one-hit punch that killed Tweed cattle farmer Kelvin Kane.
FALL FROM GRACE: Craig Field, appearing in Lismore Supreme Court for a one-hit punch that killed Tweed cattle farmer Kelvin Kane. Cathy Adams

CRAIG Field will spend Christmas behind bars despite lodging an appeal of his sentence for the manslaughter of Kelvin Kane at the Kingscliff Beach Hotel in 2012.

Following a three-week trial in Lismore Supreme Court, on December 17, the 42-year-old former South Sydney Rabbitohs captain was sentenced to 10 years' jail with a non-parole period of seven-and-a-half years.

The sentence relates to the one-hit death of the 51-year-old cattle farmer on July 15 in a fight in the hotel car park.

Field's defence barrister Tony Bellanto QC argued his client's friend Shaun Fathers threw the fatal blow to Mr Kane's lower left jaw just seconds before Field threw a punch that felled Mr Kane.

Crown prosecutor Lee Carr told the jury there was only one punch thrown in the hotel carpark during a fight, the fatal punch by Field.

The jury of seven men and five women acquitted the former NRL star on the charge of murder, but found him guilty on the lesser charge of manslaughter.

When Justice Elizabeth Fullerton handed down Field's sentence, his solicitor Jim Fuggle applied for leave to appeal his conviction, which was rejected.

A Supreme Court spokeswoman said once a sentence was handed down the defence had 30 days to lodge a notice of intention to appeal.

The spokeswoman said the courts closed over the Christmas period, reopening on February 2.

"Only urgent matters will be heard before then," the spokeswoman said.

Yesterday Mr Fuggle said an appeal had been lodged.

He said he last spoke to Field after his sentencing and was unaware of which jail Field was imprisoned.

Topics:  craig field editors picks king hit manslaughter murder

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