Man not guilty of glassing charges arisen from wild party
COULD the jury rely on the memory of a witness who had been on a "mammoth" drinking session three years ago to deliver a guilty verdict?
That was the question posed to the jury by defence barrister David Murray in Gladstone District Court on Tuesday afternoon, as both sides delivered their closing arguments.
"Would you rely on the memory of someone who'd gone out and got absolutely slotted?" Mr Murray said to the jury.
In the end, the circumstantial nature of the Crown case proved a hurdle too high for the jury to clear, as they deliberated for less than half-an-hour before they found Matthew Edward Scott, 21, not guilty of one count of unlawfully causing grievous bodily harm.
The victim of the alleged attack, Brendan Ronald Clarke, 21, was left with a 3-4cm gash across the back of his heel, which resulted in a complete laceration of his Achilles tendon.
Crown prosecutor Susan Hedge alleged Mr Clarke was struck with a glass bottle or fragments thrown by Mr Scott, at an end-of-season/18th birthday celebration at a Wurdong Heights property on the night of July 24 into the early hours of July 25, 2010.
While Dr Matthew Allen stated he believed it to be "unlikely but possible" that the wound was suffered as a result of a fall or from glass falling into Mr Clarke's ugg boot, alternative scenarios suggested by Mr Murray, the differing accounts of the night provided by witnesses ensured the Crown was not able to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr Scott was guilty of throwing the bottle.
Ms Hedge argued that the fact Mr Clarke felt something hit his ankle, suffered immediate pain and there was blood in his ugg boot supported the Crown case that the injury suffered was a result of him being struck by a bottle; however they could not convince the jury that it was Mr Scott who had inflicted the wound.