The David Hookes case September 7, 2005

He treated bouncer with 'disdain', court told

Cricinfo staff

David Hookes: the case continues © Getty Images

A Melbourne court heard that David Hookes, the former Test cricketer, had treated the bouncer accused of fatally punching him last year with "arrogance and disdain".

During the ongoing trial in the Victorian Supreme Court in Melbourne, the barrister Terry Forrest, QC, summarised the defence case, arguing his client, Zdravko Micevic, was trying to move Hookes and a group of friends away from a St Kilda hotel on the night of January 18 last year. Micevic has pleaded not guilty, maintaining that he only struck Hookes in self- defence.

AAP quoted Forrest as saying that Hookes and his friends had created "an atmosphere of hostile arrogance and aggression" in the moments before Micevic first ejected Hookes and then punched him outside the hotel. Hookes, at the time the coach of Victoria, fractured his skull on the footpath as he fell and died the next day in hospital.

Forrest added that "Hookes was in a mood," and he "dealt with a 21-year-old security officer with arrogance and disdain". Forrest argued that in the seconds before Hookes was hit there was a "volatile, dangerous and violent episode unfolding," a period during which Micevic had been "intimidated and outnumbered".

Asserting that the punch was thrown in self-defence, Forrest told the court it was the fall, not the punch, that killed Hookes. He said Micevic had hit him with "mild to moderate force" with his non-dominant left hand. The use of the left hand, Forrest explained, suggested that Micevic was grappling with Hookes at the time with his head down, causing him to throw a "defensive punch, not an attacking punch".

The defence also cast doubts on the evidence given during the trial by Hookes's friends who were present on the night of the incident. In a scathing attack, Forrest called their evidence an "extraordinary cocktail" that was "selective, mischievous, revisionist history".

Forrest concluded his case by saying the Crown had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the punch was not thrown in self-defence. "We say the punch was lawful, it was administered in lawful self-defence." The jury is expected to consider its verdict tomorrow afternoon.