A FRIEND of the late Kelvin Kane yesterday told the Lismore Supreme Court she saw Shaun Fathers throw punches at Mr Kane before his death at the Kingscliff Beach Hotel in 2012.
Former NRL player Craig Field, 41, has been charged with murder over the death of the 50-year-old cattle farmer on July 15.
Lauren Grainger told the court yesterday it was Mr Fathers being the aggressor toward her friend Lyn Burger, who claimed Mr Fathers had grabbed her around the throat.
"She came out at one stage quite stressed and said she had been held up by the throat against a wall," Ms Grainger recalled Ms Burger saying.
When asked by Crown Prosector Lee Carr "who allegedly did that," Ms Grainger replied "Fathers".
Ms Grainger gave evidence of tension throughout the night between Mr Fathers and Ms Burger, until she and partner Mark Frost left the hotel about 8.48pm.
The jury heard that when Ms Grainger and Mr Frost got into her Holden Rodeo dual-cab ute, Field was talking to Mr Frost at the front passenger window, as Mr Kane and Ms Burger were getting in a back passenger door.
Ms Grainger said after hearing yelling, she saw Mr Fathers approach Mr Kane and unleash a flurry of more than three or four blows, none of which she saw connect.
Ms Grainger said Mr Kane had said: "Why are you trying to fight me?"
Under cross examination by Field's solicitor Tony Bellanto QC, Ms Grainger told the jury she heard Mr Fathers say to Ms Burger: "I'm gonna get you, you dog; you're a bitch."
Ms Grainger admitted to having eight beers and two cans of Jack Daniels and Cola on July 15, before making her police statement in the early hours of July 16.
Kingscliff Beach Hotel licensee Geoffrey Wallis told the jury Mr Fathers and Field were at the hotel to watch an Anthony Mundine boxing match, and there were no security guards.
Mr Wallis gave evidence of telling Mr Frost to leave the hotel more than a dozen times on the night because he was intoxicated.
Mr Wallis claimed this riled Mr Frost, who became aggressive and made offensive statements about Mr Wallis's stillborn baby.
Mr Wallis said Mr Fathers and Field helped calm down tensions between him and Mr Frost.
He told of hearing a punch and seeing Mr Kane on the ground, but not seeing who threw the blow.
The trial continues today.