Crown bouncers acquitted over patron's death

Two Crown Casino bouncers have been acquitted of the manslaughter of a patron who died after being taken to the ground by security staff.

Crown bouncers acquitted in manslaughter case

Crown bouncers acquitted in manslaughter case

Prosecutors had alleged Anthony Dunning, 40, was slammed to the ground and forcibly restrained by bouncers in the gaming area of the Melbourne casino in July last year.

Two bouncers, Matthew Scott Lawson, 27, and Cameron Paul Sanderson, 40, were charged with his manslaughter.

But on Friday, after a four-week trial and three days of deliberations, a Victorian Supreme Court jury found the pair not guilty of manslaughter.

A third bouncer, Benjamin Michael Vigo, 24, was found not guilty of assaulting Mr Dunning.

The three smiled after the verdicts were announced and hugged and shook hands as they left the dock.

They left court without comment.

A friend of Mr Dunning told reporters he disagreed with the verdict.

Mr Dunning was being ejected from the casino for being intoxicated when the incident occurred.

Prosecutor Andrew Tinney SC told the jury Mr Dunning did not go looking for trouble and his only mistake was going to the casino with friends after the football.

In his closing address, Lawson's barrister Ian Hill QC urged the jury to find his client not guilty, saying he was simply doing his job by ejecting an intoxicated patron.

He said the case was not about Crown Casino or its training.

"This (is a) man with no prior criminal conviction who on that night was doing his job," Mr Hill said.

"This is not about negligence. It's not about carelessness. This is about the elements of a very serious criminal offence."

Crown bouncers have been been acquitted of charges over Anthony Dunning's (Inset) death in July 2011. Photo: ABC

Sanderson's barrister Michael Tovey QC told jurors they would not be satisfied with the prosecution's argument that while Mr Dunning was on the ground Sanderson aided and abetted Mr Lawson who was carrying out an unlawful and dangerous act.

Vigo's barrister Geoffrey Steward said his client was doing his job and ended up in the Supreme Court "accused of criminal conduct and falsehoods to boot".

But Mr Tinney said Mr Dunning was "senselessly and needlessly and violently" brought to the ground.

He was then set upon by the three bouncers, who applied "excessive and dangerous and entirely unnecessary physical force", the prosecutor told the jury.

In a statement Crown Casino said it was not in a position to comment at this stage.

"Crown has been advised of the jury's verdict and is considering its implications," the statement said.