Jury urged to find Peri guilty

THE Crown has urged the jury in the trial of Cyrus Peri to find him guilty of the manslaughter of Byron Bay businessman Mark Wallace in a Tweed Heads park, saying it had been his actions that brought about the man’s unintentional death in January 2008.

There was no disagreement the cause of death had been Mr Wallace striking the back of his head on the bitumen during a scuffle, causing a skull fracture 20cm in length and a major blood clot on his brain.

In its final address to the Lismore District Court jury yesterday, the Crown said medical evidence supported its allegation that Peri, 28, of Runaway Bay, had Mr Wallace in a headlock, punching him three times and causing him to fall and hit his head.

Mr Wallace, 42, died the following day on January 6 in a Gold Coast hospital.

“It was a deliberate act that caused the fall,” the Crown said. “It is the deliberate engagement in a struggle by the accused that is the substantial cause of Mark Wallace’s fall.”

The Crown stated Peri went up to Mr Wallace in a park near Twin Towns Services Club at 3.30am to see how the older man was after a fight with his girlfriend.

Mr Wallace then allegedly was dragged into a fight he wanted no part of. “It is clear he grabbed Mr Wallace from behind and pulled him back,” the Crown said.

Defence counsel John Fraser said ‘self-defence’ could not be ruled out because in the context of a fight situation there was an element of retaliation. He said there were no significant injuries to Mr Wallace’s face and the evidence of a pathologist was that a bruise on his chin was caused by only ‘moderate’ force.

He said Peri had not held anything back from police when interviewed and the jury should consider two issues: Self-defence or an accidental death.

Mr Fraser said it was not a case of being a vicious assault and the Crown could not exclude the injury had not occurred when the men were wrestling.

With regard to one witness who said they saw Peri deliver a third punch, described as being ‘a big hit’, Mr Fraser said this was not supported by the medical evidence.

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