Ex-NRL star locked up after manslaughter finding
CRAIG Field will spend at least six days behind bars before his sentencing date is determined after being found guilty of the manslaughter of Kelvin Kane at the Kingscliff Beach Hotel in 2012.
After hearing 13 days of evidence from eyewitnesses, hotel neighbours, police and forensic pathologists about a July 15 fight in the hotel carpark and the subsequent injuries that led to Mr Kane's death, the jury returned with their verdict at 3pm yesterday after six hours of deliberation.
Field sat in the dock with his arms crossed and his chin resting on his left wrist, nervously awaiting his fate.
The former South Sydney Rabbitohs captain, 41, and his wife Ellen let out visible sighs of relief yesterday as the jury foreman read out a not guilty verdict on the charge of murder.
When the foreman read out the verdict of guilty of manslaughter, Field's wife Ellen burst into tears in the public gallery.
Almost immediately, Mr Kane's daughter Georgina, who has sat through the entire trial, began to cry.
After Justice Elizabeth Fullerton discharged the jury, Field's solicitor Jim Fuggle applied for bail to be continued so his client could live at Kingscliff with his wife and children. This was opposed by Crown Prosecutor Lee Carr.
Mr Fuggle argued Field was not a flight risk, that he had ties to Kingscliff through family and work and that he had no prior history of violence.
But Justice Fullerton revoked bail.
"A period of full-time jail is an inevitable outcome of these proceedings," Justice Fullerton said.
The matter will be mentioned before Justice Fullerton in Sydney Supreme Court on Monday when a date will be set for sentencing. Field is expected to apply for bail.
Outside the court Mr Fuggle said there were mixed emotions about the "unexpected" verdict.
"We are pleased on one count and disappointed on the other," he said.
Mr Fuggle said Field was holding up pretty well and counsel will be discussing his options with him over the next couple of days in respect to appeals, and bail applications pending appeal.
"Essentially the court has decided that it wants to proceed to sentencing as quickly as it can and we'll be sorting that out on Monday."