James Brown (left) and Ryan Hawken pictured on the first day of their court appearance.
James Brown (left) and Ryan Hawken pictured on the first day of their court appearance.

Nimbin men face assault trial

TWO Nimbin men will stand trial over an assault in the town’s Rainbow Lane that left a tourist badly injured.

James Brown, 25, and Ryan Hawken, 21, will be tried in Lismore District Court on April 6 following a hearing before magistrate Robyn Denes in Lismore Local Court.

The men are each charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm in company to Joshua England, and assault causing him bodily harm, on December 26, 2008.

During cross-examination by defence lawyer Paul Smart, for Hawken, a teenage girl said she did not see a fight start in Rainbow Lane but saw Hawken hitting a man with his fist.

“You say that you saw Ryan punch a male, Joshua, a number of times in his back. Was Joshua on top of James Brown,” Mr Smart asked.

“Yes,” the girl said.

Asked by Mr Smart if she saw Hawken drinking beer or holding a beer bottle during the scuffle, the girl replied ‘no’.

The girl told defence lawyer Vince Boss, for Brown, she saw a man on top of Brown on the ground and Brown had his fingers inside the man’s mouth.

“So what he (Brown) was trying to do was pull the male off the top of him,” asked Mr Boss.

“Yes,” replied the girl.

“Was the man fighting back,” asked Mr Boss.

“Not that I remember,” she said.

“But he was on top of Mr Brown,” said Mr Boss.

“They fell like that,” the girl said.

The girl agreed with Mr Boss the man had hit his head hard on the ground but could not remember if it was concrete.

She saw Brown and Hawken down the laneway but did not remember seeing anyone else in the vicinity. She did not see anyone kicking the man.

Witness Jesse Ward-Howard told the court he had known the accused all his life.

He said he was drinking with friends down the end of the laneway and was ‘tipsy’.

Mr Ward-Howard said he hated violence and saw the fight from 10 metres away for about 30 seconds.

“I saw the guy throw a punch at Ryan then a scuffle. Then I walked around the corner,” Mr Ward-Howard said.



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