Vic pub fight murder charge downgraded

Melissa Iaria

A taunt about someone being fat preceded a wild brawl that claimed a Melbourne teenager's life, a court has heard.

Patrick Cronin, 19, managed to walk home after the brawl last year outside the Diamond Creek pub, but later died in hospital of a brain injury.

On Monday, prosecutors withdrew a murder charge against Andrew William Lee and replaced it with one count of manslaughter.

Joshua Davis told Melbourne Magistrates' Court that before the scuffle, a man took offence to someone yelling out to him outside the Windy Mile pub on April 16, 2016.

"He was yelling about someone yelling that he was fat," Mr Davis said.

"He directed his yelling at us.

"He just went nuts."

Mr Davis said as he walked inside the pub, someone told him to get out of his way, before hitting him.

"I was a bit shocked and I turned around and there was a fight happening."

Mr Davis said he and Mr Cronin later spoke about being hit in the fight and Mr Cronin indicated he was OK.

"He wasn't hurt or anything. He said, 'yeah, I feel alright'."

Witnesses estimated up to 30 people were involved in the brawl.

Jesse Matthews told the hearing Mr Cronin had no idea who punched him and seemed shocked by it.

"He was holding his head," Mr Matthews said, before adding: "He seemed perfectly fine."

The court heard Mr Cronin went to a friend's house after the scuffle and complained of a migraine. He was given pain relief tablets and told by a friend to sleep it off.

Mr Cronin was later found vomiting in the toilet and was unsteady on his feet.

Mr Matthews said he didn't see Mr Cronin during the brawl but said: "I can't see Patrick ever throwing a punch".

The committal continues Tuesday.