Victim: Byron Bay businessman Mark Wallace died in January 2008.
Victim: Byron Bay businessman Mark Wallace died in January 2008.

Girlfriend witnesses fatal fight

THE girlfriend of Cyrus Peri, accused of the manslaughter of Byron Bay businessman Mark Wallace, said she saw the two men fighting near a park as she walked from the Twin Towns Services Club at Tweed Heads.

Peri, 28, of Runaway Bay, on trial in the Lismore District Court, is pleading not guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Wallace who died on January 6, 2008 following an alleged argument with Peri on the morning of January 5.

Peri’s long-term girlfriend, Kylie Newman, 36, said she had once been in a relationship with Mr Wallace when aged 19.

In cross-examination she said the four friends had all been intoxicated on their night out. She said Peri had met Mr Wallace about four times previously and they had been friendly.

She said Mr Wallace was not happy when they were leaving the club (about 3.30am), with something going on between him and girlfriend Donna McKevett and him then walking off.

She agreed with the Crown assertion she and good friend Donna had been ‘keen to kick on’ at another venue, but as they walked down the steps outside the club ‘Donna yelled out they’re fighting’.

Ms Newman said they were some distance from the two men and in the darkness it was too far away to see exactly what was going on, but she ran to the scene.

When she got close to the men they were struggling with each other and down on their knees with both getting back up.

In answer to questions put by the Crown, Ms Newman said she saw them ‘swinging and trying to do things’ with their arms, and ‘screaming at each other’ and it was like they were in a huddle.

She agreed it was like ‘a bear hug’, with both men struggling.

“Did you see any punches being thrown,” asked the Crown.

“No I didn’t,” Ms Newman said.

Ms Newman said she panicked and may have turned away, or closed her eyes, but when she turned back to look had saw Mark Wallace on the ground.

She agreed with defence counsel John Fraser the park was dark with little lighting. She had not heard the sounds of punches.

The trial will conclude today.



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