Accused claims he was defending himself

A MAN who broke another’s jaw in a Devonport pub fight claimed self defence yesterday.
HangZhou Night Net

Joshua James Wilkinson pleaded not guilty to assaulting Sam McCarthy around midnight on June 19, 2010.

His lawyer, Paul Sullivan, told the Supreme Court jury, in Burnie, there was no dispute Wilkinson punched Mr McCarthy.

However, whether it was unlawful was an issue, he suggested.

He said his client had repeatedly moved away from Mr McCarthy and had later told police he “smashed him in the face because he kept hitting me in the head”.

Mr Sullivan said Wilkinson had told Mr McCarthy to leave him alone, by words and actions.

To find his client guilty, Mr Sullivan said, the jury would have to rule out any reasonable possibility Wilkinson was acting in self defence.

Crown prosecutor Heather Mannering said Mr McCarthy had gone to the bar to get a drink and was struck from behind to the face.

“His friend noticed a fight … and saw a person known to him as `Wilko’ punching someone on the ground.”

The friend then saw it was Mr McCarthy being hit, she said.

Police were there when Mr McCarthy woke dazed and with a sore jaw, Miss Mannering said.

She said he had a broken jaw, needed surgery and had two metal plates inserted in his face.

The crown argued Wilkinson was not acting in self defence.

The jury started deliberations yesterday afternoon.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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