Poker Tournament One-Punch Killer Wins Appeal For RetrialOctober 19, 2009 4:01 am
The Brisbane Court of Appeal has agreed to the retrial of an English backpacker convicted of the manslaughter of a fellow poker tournament player after “one punch” ended the 28 year old’s life.
The incident took place on the 24th of May 2008 when an argument at a poker tournament spilt out onto the carpark at the Banjo’s Bar, at Shute Harbour in north Queensland. Following an altercation, Englishman Daniel Craig Dean, 25, punched Mark Urch, 29 in the head, who then fell to the ground and later died at the Townsville Hospital on June 1st of a brain injury.
In a recorded interview with Detective Senior Constable Jon Kent, of Whitsunday CIB, Craig Dean said following an argument at the poker tournament they both walked to the carpark where they began arguing. He continued, “He threw a punch so I threw one back…at least one connected.” He said Urch then fell back and hit the ground with “a thud.”
Dean pleaded not guilty to man slaughter and maintained throughout the trial that he had acted in self defence and was trying to get away from Urch. Nonetheless it took the jury of five men and seven women just four hours to find him guilty following a three day trial and he was then sentenced to 7 years in jail.
Dean launched his appeal claiming the judge had not provided adequate ‘directions on the meaning of the defence of provocation’ and the Court of Appeal’s President Margaret McMurdo agreed and added that the judge had also forgotten to explain to the jury the meaning of the term “assault”.
Justice McMurdo added: “The tragic death of the deceased is another all too common example proving the sad truth of the recent campaign in our community publicising the fact that one punch can kill.”
A date for the retrial is yet to be set but in the meantime Dean is also facing drug charges after he was found with 200 ecstasy tablets and must await a Supreme Court trial expected later on in the year.