Collingwood footballer Marley Williams broke a man’s jaw with one left-hand punch in a “simple revenge” attack outside a nightclub, the Albany District Court was told today.
In the opening address for what is set down as a five-day trial, prosecutor Tony Loudon said Mr Williams had claimed he had been assaulted by three men who had been drinking heavily that day at a Boxing Day horse race meeting in Albany before the alleged assault on one of them, 29-year-old Matthew Robertson.
Defence lawyer Tom Percy said the incident was “classic self-defence, in the truest sense”.
“It was a reflexive, self-defensive motion with a single blow with his non-preferred left hand,” Mr Percy said.
Mr Williams, 20, has pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.
Mr Loudon said it was likely Mr Williams had wrongly hit Mr Robertson, as it had been his two friends who had carried out the earlier assault in the toilet of the Studio 146 nightclub.
He said the three men, who had been drinking for most of the day, had been playing a “stupid game” where they ripped each others shirts, leading them to be ejected from the nightclub.
The 14-member jury was shown a video vision of the incident, which occurred as all of the men left the nightclub.
Mr Loudon said the court would hear a police interview with Williams about an hour after the incident where he told them, “I wasn’t going to let them feel like they got the better of me”.
“He was going to seek vengeance against the men he thought had wronged him,” Mr Loudon told the court.
“He went looking to do violence to somebody … probably the wrong somebody.”
Mr Percy described the earlier attack in the toilet against Mr Williams as “cowardly” and said it was possible it had occurred because of his profile as an AFL footballer.
He said Mr Robertson had contributed to his broken jaw injury, which had since fully healed, by being party to the earlier attack and then moving to confront Mr Williams outside the nightclub.