Man cleared over Vic golf club killing

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A man who punched another man's head during an evening of celebrations at a regional Victoria golf club has been found not guilty of manslaughter.

Father-of-two John Durie fell to the ground unconscious immediately after Dane McLennan, 28, struck him in August 2019 after Wycheproof's annual golf tournament.

Despite efforts to revive him Mr Durie was declared dead later that night.

Mr McLennan's Supreme Court trial had been told that Mr Durie was known to engage in playful wrestling or "horseplay" with mates, particularly after a few drinks but that it was consensual.

The prosecution argued that Mr McLennan lashed out after being winded by being hit in the stomach or groin.

"He didn't want to go down or get made a fool of, was how he described his feelings to police in the interview," prosecutor Patrick Bourke QC said.

Mr McLennan's barrister Geoffrey Steward disputed that Mr McLennan had acted unlawfully in striking Mr Durie.

"Regardless of whether you're angry or embarrassed you're still allowed to defend yourself," Mr Steward told the jury.

He also said it was possible Mr Durie had died from an aneurysm, unrelated to any force.

The jury, which sat in Shepparton because of coronavirus restrictions, returned its not guilty verdict on Monday after retiring on Friday.

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