Australia Manslaughter trial after man's brain bleed
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A man's death from a brain bleed days after a confrontation with a stranger in his front yard is a bridge too far to sustain a manslaughter conviction, Melbourne jurors have been told.
After a knock at the door at the front of his Boronia home, Alan Wain discovered a stranger who claimed he had slept the night in a caravan in the yard.
Gene Cadell Griffiths had been released from hospital after an epileptic seizure the day before and had somehow found himself in Mr Wain's caravan.
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It's understandable, to an extent, that Mr Wain was "angry (and) aggressive" when he spoke to Griffiths on June 2, 2019, Griffiths' barrister John Desmond told a Victorian Supreme Court jury on Monday.
Griffiths, 44, has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, causing the death of Mr Wain who died in hospital after life support was switched off on June 19, 2019.
In the aftermath of a confrontation on the caravan steps, Mr Wain told his wife, police, paramedics and doctors that he had been punched four times to the face by Griffiths, a total stranger.
But Mr Desmond told jurors there was no fully fledged punch to Mr Wain by Griffiths.
"It was a wrestling and a grappling of these two adult men with each other, a grappling of Mr Wain's shirt by my client," he said.
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He said no reasonable person in Griffith's position would have realised that they were exposing Mr Wain, who was being treated with Warfarin to prevent blood clots, to an appreciable risk of serious injury.
Police were called after the altercation. Griffiths had left by the time they arrived.
Paramedics assessed Mr Wain for a laceration to his head and he spent 10 hours at a local hospital before being taken to Knox Hospital for ongoing management
Initially there was no sign of serious injury but his condition deteriorated and he had to be intubated.
A brain scan uncovered a bleed and at 2.30am on June 4 he underwent an emergency craniotomy.
On June 5 his condition deteriorated further, he began suffering seizures and a second scan showed a re-bleed in a different part of his brain.
He was transferred to St Vincent's Hospital on June 6 and the following day underwent a second craniotomy.
Mr Wain never woke after that surgery and life support was later turned off.
An autopsy determined he had died from an intracranial haemorrhage following blunt force head trauma, in the context of Warfarin use.
Medical experts will give evidence that a percentage of people who suffer a brain bleed do suffer a re-bleed, prosecutor Angela Moran said.
But Mr Desmond noted the second bleed, in a different part of the brain, happened days after the confrontation
"It is just too remote, it is a bridge too far to criminal responsibility to any act done by the accused," he said.
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