Trial begins into Byron death

A LISMORE District Court jury has heard the opening remarks in the trial concerning the death of Byron Bay businessman Mark Wallace, with Cyrus Peri charged with his manslaughter.

Peri, a New Zealand-born labourer living on the Gold Coast, is pleading not guilty to the Crown charge he caused the death of Mr Wallace, 42, following a dispute between the two men outside Twin Towns Services Club at Tweed Heads in January 2008.

During the scuffle the Crown alleges it was ‘the unprotected fall backwards’ that caused a serious head injury and subsequent death in a Gold Coast hospital of Mr Wallace on January 6, 2008.

In evidence to be put before the trial, the Crown will allege Mr Wallace hit his head on the ground at 3.30am on January 5, receiving a 20cm skull fracture to the back of his head, with a blood clot forming and severe bruising to his brain.

In its overview of the case, the Crown said the actions of Peri had to be found unlawful and dangerous in that the accused did a deliberate act that was a significant factor in causing the death.

The Crown said it did not have to prove Peri intended to cause grievous bodily harm or intended to cause the death of Mark Wallacebecause manslaughter can be seen as an unintentional killing.

The jury was told that the men and their girlfriends, Kylie Newman and Donna McKevett, had been staying together in a holiday unit at Tweed Heads and been on a night out at a nearby surf club before attending the Twin Towns club. Defence counsel John Fraser said there was no dispute that the cause of death had been the fall, but the Crown must prove that the death was caused by an act of Peri that was unlawful.



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