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Court Hearings (In Favor of Bouncers)


Bouncer's manslaughter conviction void

A man jailed for killing a fellow drinker during a scuffle outside a nightclub has had his conviction overturned.

Philip Gerard Smith, 23, was convicted in the Townsville Supreme Court in June of unlawfully killing Brett Matthew Leake outside Townsville's The Bank nightclub on May 20, 2005.

A retrial has been ordered.

It was alleged Smith - an off-duty security guard at The Bank - had become involved in an argument with Mr Leake.

It was alleged Smith had punched Mr Leake in the head and knocked him to the ground.

Medical evidence given during the trial showed an unconscious Mr Leake was taken to hospital with a fractured skull and internal bleeding on the brain.

Doctors performed a craniotomy to relieve pressure, however, Mr Leake was declared brain dead.

He died shortly after his life support systems were withdrawn.

Smith was found guilty of manslaughter and was sentenced to six years jail.

Smith contested his conviction in the Brisbane Court of Appeal in November, arguing the prosecutor's closing address during the trial was inflammatory and would have unduly influenced the jury.

The Court of Appeal judges on Wednesday upheld Smith's appeal, saying the prosecutor had incorrectly suggested that other security guards at the nightclub had conspired to cover up the alleged attack.

The Court of Appeal judges also ruled the judge "did nothing to pour water on the wildfire ignited by the prosecutor".

Smith's conviction was set aside and a retrial was ordered.



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