Lismore Court House in Zadoc Street.
Lismore Court House in Zadoc Street. Marc Stapelberg

King hit killer pleads guilty to manslaughter

A BALLINA man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the Supreme Court, six years after a violent street assault outside a Casino pub which claimed a man's life.

Paul Ian Lane, now 58, faced the Supreme Court in Lismore on Tuesday, where he calmly entered a guilty plea to the unlawful death of Peter Morris on September 24, 2012.

According to the original police facts, Lane was thrown out of a Casino hotel after getting into a scuffle with security about 11.10pm on September 16.

When Peter Morris, 52, and Christopher Schwager, 38, left the hotel just before midnight they were confronted by Lane.

Lane pushed Morris to the pavement on Barker St and when he Morris got up and attempted to back away, Lane punched him to the side of the face, causing him to hit his head on the road.

Lane also punched Schwager twice as he attempted to help Morris.

Morris never regained consciousness and died nine days later in a Gold Coast hospital.

The entire incident was captured on nearby CCTV.

Lane originally faced trial for murder in 2014, and a Supreme Court jury acquitted him on the murder charge but guilty of manslaughter.

However, he appealed the verdict and in June this year the High Court quashed the conviction and ordered a retrial, on the basis of legal errors in the verdict process.

The retrial was to commence yesterday, but with Lane's guilty plea will instead proceed directly to sentencing. He is currently on bail.

Lane's barrister Ertunc Rosen SC, said there would be material about Mr Lane's life post-conviction, including a psychological report, tendered to the court ahead of Lane's sentencing.

Crown prosecutor Brendan Campbell said some of the victim impact statements would also be updated.

The matter was adjourned to return to the Supreme Court in Lismore for sentencing on December 10.



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