Gilbert James Neho outside Ipswich District Court during his trial. He is contesting a charge of grievous bodily harm.
Gilbert James Neho outside Ipswich District Court during his trial. He is contesting a charge of grievous bodily harm.

Man found not guilty of party assault charge

UPDATE: A JURY has returned a verdict of not guilty in the case of Gilbert James Neho, who stood trial on a Crown prosecution charge of grievous bodily harm.

The charge arose from a birthday party at Collingwood Park in April 2016.

Less than an hour after retiring to consider the case heard before Ipswich District Court, the jury returned to deliver the not guilty verdict on Thursday before Judge Dennis Lynch QC.

Mr Neho was formerly absolved and left the courtroom.

EARLIER: A MAN is defending charges of grievous bodily harm that arose from a birthday party that turned violent in Ipswich in 2016.

Gilbert James Neho has entered a pleaded not guilty to the charge and is facing trial at Ipswich District Court this week.

In a three-day trial, the jury heard evidence presented by the Crown alleging Neho caused grievous bodily harm to Amos Whaleboat at Collingwood Park on April 8, 2016.

He is accused of delivering a one-punch strike to the head of Mr Whaleboat, who one witness said was bending down putting a shoe on at the time he was hit.

Medical evidence was provided, showing Mr Whaleboat suffered a broken jaw in two places, a doctor comparing the injury to something he would usually see in a car crash.

In his evidence, Mr Whaleboat said he did not see who struck him.

Witnesses gave evidence relating to a series of incidents that night involving some of the guests at the backyard party.

Defence barrister Justin Thomas concluded his legal argument, saying that the jury could not find Neho guilty beyond reasonable doubt on the evidence it had heard.

“So, very different versions have been given (of that night),” Mr Thomas said.

Mr Thomas argued that there had been other incidents involving Whaleboat that could not be ruled out as potentially causing injury, including wrestling with another guest, who he said was a martial arts fighter.

He said both men were of solid build.

One witness told the trial that she saw blood gush from the mouth of Mr Whaleboat, and his eyes appeared “to be in the back of his head”.

Another had said his eyes were seen to be “rolling back into his head” in that earlier incident.

Mr Thomas said one witness gave evidence where she spoke of seeing punches thrown.

In his summing up of the Crown case, the prosecutor Mr Wilson acknowledged there were competing versions by witnesses of the events that evening, and that Mr Whaleboat did not see who hit him.

He summarised some of the evidence relied on in the prosecution case that included a witness stating that they saw Mr Whaleboat being “king hit” by Neho while bending over to tie his shoe.

The witness described it as a powerful blow to his jaw, causing Whaleboat to “topple straight over”.

The jury will consider its verdict.