The David Hookes case September 12, 2005

Bouncer found not guilty in Hookes case


Zdravko Micevic: found not guilty of manslaughter © AFP

A Melbourne pub bouncer, facing manslaughter charges over the death of former Australian cricket star, David Hookes was found not guilty on Monday.

Hookes, 48, a former Test batsman and coach of the Victoria state team, died of head injuries in January last year, a day after being punched by Zdravko Micevic during an altercation outside a Melbourne pub.

Following five days of deliberations, a 12-member supreme court jury found Micevic, 23, not guilty of killing Hookes.

Outside the court Micevic said he was "very relieved" by the verdict. "I'm glad it's all over; I can get on with my life," he said.

The defense claimed Micevic punched Hookes in self-defence during an altercation that erupted after the cricketer was ejected from the pub where he had been celebrating a victory by his Victoria team.

Defence lawyers told the court Hookes and his friends acted aggressively when told to leave the pub at closing time and that the coach was forcibly ejected from the building by security guards.

Prosecutors said the bouncer, a former amateur boxer, had targeted Hookes in retaliation for abusive comments the cricketer made earlier in the night.

The trial opened on August 22.