Former footballer Luke Adams was standing over his alleged attacker “aggressively” before the man got up and took a “lucky shot” at him, the accused man’s friend told a District Court jury today.
Neil Turner was testifying as a prosecution witness in the trial of his friend Dylan Gerald Wayne Winter, 20, who has pleaded not guilty to unlawfully causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Adams during a random drunken fight in Northbridge on May 1 last year.
Mr Winter and his friends had been moved on by police after a physical altercation with bouncers outside The Library nightclub.
Mr Turner said the group was walking on Lake Street when he heard yelling, turned around and saw Mr Winter on the ground in the middle of the road with a man, who he now knows to be Mr Adams, standing “aggressively” over him. He said as he friend got up he took a swing at Mr Adams, hitting him in the jaw with a closed fist.
Mr Turner said the punch did not seem to be hard enough to knock anyone out. “It (the punch) didn’t seem that hard at the time … it must have been a pretty lucky shot,” he said.
Mr Turner said he saw Mr Adams fall and heard the “thud” as his head hit the ground. He said his friend ran away and he left the area as well because he panicked, was in shock and there were other people around to help Mr Adams.
He said he had not seen Mr Winter act aggressively at any stage before the incident. Mr Turner said he saw Mr Winter back at their hotel room and they did not discuss the incident but that his friend looked “pale”.
Mr Turner told the court in May 2011 Mr Winter had recently started training in Muay Thai boxing.
Earlier today an independent witness, nightclub DJ Benjamin Smith, said he was with his then-girlfriend and her friend looking for a taxi when he saw a “push and shove” fight break out between two groups before someone took a “pretty confident lunge forward” and land a “standout punch”.
“It had like a wet slapping sound that you know is a bad punch, then that person fell to the ground … just dropped straight away,” he said. Mr Smith said it appeared both sides were challenging each other to fight and egging each other on, but he was too far away and it was too dark for him to see the incident in better detail.
Mr Smith, 23, said he first noticed a loud man who appeared to be showing off to his girlfriend in an “arrogant” way, explaining a fight outside The Library and that one of his friends had hit a bouncer.
He said the man walked past him, but he heard some commotion and turned around to see “back and forth” yelling between that man and other people across the street.
Mr Smith said the woman he had seen with the man on his side of the street was repeatedly yelling at him not to fight.
He said that at first the fight involved pushing and shoving and some punches that were not very aggressive. Other people on both sides had also joined in the altercation, he told the court.
Mr Smith said he was about 90 per cent sure that the person who threw the punch was the man he had initially seen on his side of the street.
Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Craig Eberhardt, Mr Smith denied a suggestion that the sound he heard was a person’s head hitting the ground and was adamant it was the punch.
Mr Smith said he had consumed about seven full-strength beers that night and considered himself drunk, but not excessively intoxicated.
He agreed with Mr Eberhardt that neither party was more aggressive than the other.
The court has previously been told that Mr Winter’s friend Jake Ward and his girlfriend Kara Hagen were fighting while walking along Lake St when a verbal altercation started with Mr Adams, who had one friend with him, across the road. Mr Winter claims he intervened to stop a fight developing between his friend and the stranger.
The trial continues.