Head injury caused man's death

A PATHOLOGIST who did the autopsy on the body of Byron Bay businessman Mark Wallace has agreed with the Crown that brain and head injuries were consistent with the man being punched in the face, falling backwards unprotected and hitting the back of his head on the road.

Beng Beng Ong, in his evidence before the Lismore District Court, said there were three fractures to Mr Wallace’s skull.

The pathologist also agreed with a Crown assertion neck injuries on the body could be consistent with pressure being applied while Mr Wallace was being held in a headlock. He said this injury was superficial and the cause of death was the head injury.

Mr Ong was giving evidence at the trial of Cyrus Peri, 28, of Runaway Bay, who is charged with the manslaughter of Mr Wallace who died on January 6, 2008, in a Gold Coast hospital after being injured the morning before in scuffle/fight with Peri near the Twin Towns Services Club at Tweed Heads.

The dispute took place during a night out by two couples, Mr Wallace and his partner Donna McKevett, and Peri and his girlfriend Kylie Newman, who some years before was the girlfriend of Mr Wallace.

Ms McKevett said yesterday the four people left Twin Towns Services Club about 3.30am on January 5.

Ms McKevett said she remembered hearing Ms Newman calling out ‘Cyrus’, and her next memory was ‘having Mark in my arms cradling his head’.

She said blood was coming from his right ear and mouth, with noises coming from his throat, and his eyes half open, and ‘I had Cyrus screaming at me that I had not heard what Mark said to him’.

Part of her police statement was read to the court: “I remember looking up at the boys. I saw Cyrus had Mark in a headlock and dragged him around like a rag doll. I saw two hits.”

Tweed paramedic David Moran treated Mr Wallace at the scene and said Peri showed concern for the injured man and assisted in getting him on to a stretcher. Peri had told him there had been a fight and he hit Mr Wallace twice.

The trial continues.

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