Man faces court on murder charge

A 28-YEAR-old Kyogle man faced Lismore Local Court yesterday charged with the murder of Darryl Close, 35, who died last month following an altercation outside a hotel.

Mr Close died of massive head injuries at the Gold Coast Hospital on November 19, one week after he was allegedly assaulted by another Kyogle man, Shaun Robert Hyde.

Hyde, who is currently free on conditional bail, had been charged with recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm, but that charge was upgraded to murder following Mr Close's death.

Magistrate R Denes ordered Hyde appear again for mention next month, at which point the Crown Prosecutor may seek a bail review.

She gave investigators until the end of February to have their brief of evidence prepared.

Police allege that shortly after 10.30pm on November 12, Mr Close was punched, then fell and hit his head on the footpath outside a Kyogle hotel, sustaining serious head injuries.

Mr Close was transported to Kyogle Hospital and later transferred to the Gold Coast in a critical condition.

The death has sent shockwaves through the township.

Last month Mr Close's sister Leonie, a respected Githabul elder from the Muli Muli Aboriginal community near Woodenbong, called for calm amid simmering tensions.

She has asked for "no more violence" saying that the family and the whole community felt a huge sense of loss following her brother's death.

"All I want is a better future for my children, my family and my people," she told The Northern Star.

Mr Close's mother Dawn Close, was heartbroken by the death of her youngest son who was close to completing his Certificate III in Tourism at TAFE and planned to start a tour business.



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