A WYCHEPROOF man accused of delivering a fatal punch was acting in self-defence because the victim took a bout of horseplay "too far", a lawyer has told a jury.
Twenty-eight-year-old Dane Edward McLennan - the man accused of killing 56-year-old John Durie - appeared in the Supreme Court on Wednesday for the closing arguments of his criminal trial.
Mr McLennan has entered a plea of not guilty to the charge of manslaughter.
The court heard on August 30, 2019, Mr McLennan, Mr Durie, and other members of the Wycheproof community were at the local golf club for a tournament.
That evening, after the tournament had concluded, the two men were in the club rooms drinking alcohol with a group of people.
At the start of the trial, prosecutor Patrick Bourke QC told the jury Mr McLennan and Mr Durie were well-known to each other and had been engaging in "horseplay" throughout the evening.
Mr Bourke said about 9.30pm, Mr McLennan and Mr Durie were playing a game of pool when, in the context of "mucking around", Mr Durie either kicked or punched Mr McLennan in the stomach or groin area.
The prosecution alleged Mr McLennan was embarrassed and then angry, so he lashed out at Mr Durie and punched him in the head.
The court heard Mr Durie immediately collapsed and did not regain consciousness. He later died at the scene despite efforts at CPR.
Defence counsel Geoffrey Steward on Wednesday told the court Mr Durie was a "big, boisterous shearer" who had "wanted to rumble and took it too far".
Mr Steward said Mr Durie had "upped the ante" when he kicked or punched Mr McLennan, so the now-28-year-old needed to defend himself because he was "losing a fight he didn't start".
The defence counsel said his comments were not a criticism of Mr Durie, but rather the evidence that was before the court.
Mr Bourke told the jury it was the prosecution's case that Mr McLennan was not acting in self-defence because he knew Mr Durie was "mucking around" and not threatening any harm.
The prosecutor said Mr McLennan admitted to the police that he was embarrassed and then angry that Mr Durie had gotten the upper hand during their bout of horseplay.
Mr Bourke said it was the prosecution's case that Mr McLennan's punch connected with Mr Durie's head, causing a haemorrhage in the carotid artery.
The prosecutor said the punch was unlawful, dangerous, and deliberate so the jury could find Mr McLennan guilty of manslaughter.
The defence will continue their closing arguments in the Supreme Court on Thursday.
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