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Jury retires to consider verdict in Craig Field murder trial

UPDATE 12.53pm: THE jury has retired to consider their verdict in the Supreme Court murder trial of former NRL star Craig Field.

Field, 41, is charged with murder over the king- hit death of 51-year- old farmer Kelvin Kane at the Kingscliff Beach Hotel on July 15, 2012.

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

Justice Elizabeth Fullerton finished her summing and directions to the jury at 12.30pm.

In her directions, Justice Fullerton instructed the jury that an alternate verdict of manslaughter was available for their consideration.

7am: FORMER South Sydney Rabbitohs captain Craig Field could learn his fate today with the jury expected to retire to consider their verdict in the Supreme Court murder trial over the death of Kelvin Kane in 2012.

Field, 41, is charged with the murder of the 51-year-old farmer at the Kingscliff Beach Hotel on July 15.

His barrister Tony Bellanto QC continued his closing submissions to the jury on the 12th day of the trial at Lismore Supreme Court yesterday.

Mr Bellanto told the jury the defence case was that Field threw the punch that felled Mr Kane just seconds after 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 then urged the jury to consider the medical evidence in their deliberations, which showed an abrasion on Mr Kane's right temple, two abrasions on Mr Kane's right hand and a blunt force injury to the left jaw resulting in bleeding on the brain.

He argued the expert medical evidence showed more than one punch was thrown in the fight involving Mr Kane, Mr Fathers and Field.

"The evidence, we say, provides a very direct path to a verdict of not guilty," he said.

"We know he was the peacemaker and the Crown have conceded that."

Justice Elizabeth Fullerton began her summing up for the jury, describing her directions as a legal framework to determine the facts beyond reasonable doubt.

Justice Fullerton listed fundamental directions:

  • Jurors must follow judge's directions as law.
  • Jurors are judges of the facts and the Judge is the judge of the law.
  • Jurors can reject part of a witness's evidence.
  • The jury's verdict must be unanimous.
  • The accused is presumed to be innocent and the verdict must be reached beyond reasonable doubt.
  • The issue was "Who threw the fatal punch."

To convict Field, Justice Fullerton said jurors must be unanimously satisfied all three elements of murder are proved beyond reasonable doubt.

These elements are:

  1. It was a deliberate act of the accused that caused the death.
  2. The accused intended to cause grievous bodily harm to the deceased.
  3. The act of the accused was not done in self defence.

Topics:  craig field, crime, king hit




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