A West Coast footballer accused of fracturing the jaw of a man who slept with his former girlfriend sent the alleged victim threatening messages on social media, telling him to "start digging a grave" and that he would not rest until he "hurt", a Perth court was told yesterday.
Murray Newman went on trial in the District Court defending an allegation of doing grievous bodily harm to Brett Marris at the Library nightclub in Northbridge in November last year.
Mr Marris needed surgery for a fractured jaw.
Opening the State's case, prosecutor Michael Perrella alleged Mr Newman was harbouring a grudge against Mr Marris and was "fuelled by anger and revenge" when he challenged him to a fight outside the nightclub.
Mr Marris - who admitted sleeping with Mr Newman's former girlfriend but maintained the couple were not together at the time - testified yesterday he received threatening Facebook messages from the footballer, including one where Mr Newman told him to "start digging a grave".
In the messages shown to the jury, Mr Newman calls Mr Marris a "little girl" and asks "why don't u meat (sic) up with me for a fair crack" after Mr Marris told him to "go away".
When Mr Marris told him to "give it a rest muzz", Mr Newman replied: "Don't call me muzz u c… I won't rest till u ey hurt the end!(sic)"
Defence lawyer David Grace told the jury there were "always two sides to every story" and Mr Newman, who was sober, had been acting in self-defence against a taller and bigger man.
He told the jury Mr Marris had pushed Mr Newman in the throat and chest area in a "firm fashion" and told him to "f… off".
Mr Marris, who had had about 10 mixed drinks that night, testified Mr Newman confronted him near the nightclub entrance, wanting to have a fight outside.
He said he gave Mr Newman, whose tone was aggressive, "a slight push" because he "felt he was threatening me" and as he turned away, he felt a "clenched fist" to his jaw.
He denied defence suggestions he pushed Mr Newman around the throat and chest area "quite hard" or that he told Mr Newman to "f… off".
He said he threw punches to defend himself after Mr Newman punched him.
The fight lasted about 10 seconds before bouncers broke it up.
Under cross-examination, Mr Marris agreed he wanted to get compensation.
In a police interview played to the jury yesterday, Mr Newman admitted he got angry and threw the first punch after Mr Marris swore at him.
Mr Newman told police he was at the club with his girlfriend, whom he had been dating for about four years.
Eagles captain Darren Glass was in court yesterday morning, while Dean Cox and Andrew Gaff attended in the afternoon.
The trial continues.