News

Former Rabbitohs captain says he's not guilty of fatal punch

Craig Field (right), appeared at the Lismore Supreme Court yesterday where he pleaded not guilty to killing Tweed cattle farmer Kelvin Kane with a king hit at Kingscliff.
Craig Field (right), appeared at the Lismore Supreme Court yesterday where he pleaded not guilty to killing Tweed cattle farmer Kelvin Kane with a king hit at Kingscliff. Cathy Adams

FORMER NRL star Craig Field was described as "the peacemaker" in an alleged king-hit incident outside the Kingscliff Beach Hotel in 2012 that resulted in the death of Kelvin Kane, a court has heard.

The first day of what is expected to be a three-week murder trial for the former South Sydney captain and Manly five-eighth began yesterday before Justice Elizabeth Fullerton at Lismore Supreme Court.

Field, 41, stands accused of, on the evening of July 15, delivering a fatal blow to the 50-year-old cattle farmer's right temple, resulting in his death.

"I'm not guilty," Field said following his indictment yesterday morning.

In his opening address, Crown Prosecutor Lee Carr told the jury 24 witnesses would be called in the trial including paramedics, doctors, hotel employees, neighbours of the hotel and friends of Mr Kane.

The jury heard Field and friend Shaun Fathers arrived at the hotel at 11.30am to watch an Anthony Mundine boxing fight on Foxtel.

Mr Carr alleged that within two hours of Mr Kane arriving at the hotel about 7pm, Field delivered the fatal blow, after a dispute between Fathers and Mr Kane escalated.

CCTV footage from the hotel and photos will be presented to the jury to illustrate the ongoing tension between Field, Fathers and Mr Kane's group of friends.

Mr Carr said forensic pathologist Dr Allan Cala would present post-mortem results showing Mr Kane sustained a blunt force injury to the head, consistent with a punch.

Field's barrister Tony Bellanto QC said his client denied both "the very serious charge of murder and complete denial of manslaughter" and he would attempt to disprove prosecution allegations his client threw the fatal punch.

"Was Mr Kane punched by another person, and not Mr Field, moments before he fell to the ground?

"Was Mr Field drawn into the situation as a peacemaker?"

Lismore crime scene officer Nicole Hill described the rear carpark where the incident allegedly took place as "poorly lit" when she arrived at the hotel at 12.55am on July 16.

Senior Constable Hill said she took 26 photos of the scene, then of Field and Fathers at Tweed police station and didn't notice any injuries on the hands of either man.

Detective Senior Constable Phillip Parker then presented a 3D walkthrough of the hotel, which has been extensively renovated since the alleged incident.

Justice Fullerton granted Field revised conditional bail to reside at Bilambil Heights with former NRL player Tony Rampling for the duration of the trial. She ordered Field not to attend any licensed premises.

Topics:  coward punch, craig field, editors picks, king hit, murder



More counterfeit money does the rounds on Northern Rivers

Police dismayed to discover a fake $50 note

Award-winning actor to join local reality TV project

The Laps is a reality adventure travel TV series, following hosts Dustin Hollick and Rhian Slapp around with no cash, no car, no phone, and just 10 personal items each.

Reality TV series The Laps follows Lennox Head's Rhian and Dustin

Cinema closed for two weeks

UPGRADES: Kyogle Community Cinema's projection system was upgrade to a digital system in 2013.

Don't count on taking kids to movies at this Northern Rivers town

Local Partners

Mmmm .... Melon and meat - a winning combination

Get your rockmelon seeds with today's paper.

Make great bruschetta treat from fruits of today's FREE seeds

Top five in entertainment this week

ALT-ELECTRONIC: This weekend you get a chance to listen to Still Fighting, the new single by local band Tijuana Cartel.

Music and comedy with a splash of partying

Kim Kardashian West wants restraining order against prankster

She was attacked by Vitalii Sediuk for the second time in two years

Who's getting up on stage this week?

HITS: THE Eagles  Band is a tribute to Southern California's most famous musical group, The Eagles. One of the most successful bands of the 70s, The Eagles enjoyed massive worldwide success and conquered the world and even today, the concert DVD Hell Freezes Over is still the best selling DVD ever. Enjoy this tribute band at the Ballina RSL Club tomorrow Friday from 8pm. $54.90.

All the gigs for this busy entertainment week

Cinema closed for two weeks

UPGRADES: Kyogle Community Cinema's projection system was upgrade to a digital system in 2013.

Don't count on taking kids to movies at this Northern Rivers town

Buyers forking out millions

Owners benefiting from undersupplied Northern Rivers market

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

New $33 million development planned for Ballina Shire

The site of a proposed seniors living development at Skennars Head.

Plans include 211 homes, clubhouse and recreational facilities

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction