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Punch severs two main arteries in victim's brain

A DEFENCELESS man who was killed during a fight at a Gatton hotel was punched several times with such ferocity it completely severed the two main arteries to his brain.

Christopher James Earl, 29, is accused of murdering Laurence Shane Black, 46, during a bar fight at the Imperial Hotel in Gatton on October 28, 2011.

Earl pleaded not guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday at the start of his murder trial, which is expected to last a week.

Mr Black's family sobbed in court as Crown Prosecutor Brendan Campbell told jurors how he was punched unconscious before falling to the ground, where he was kicked and stomped on before dying on the pub's floor.

"A witness will tell you he saw Earl punch the deceased with a flurry of punches with both hands to his head, face, jaw, chest and ribs," he said.

"He was pinned against a wall trying to protect himself, but Earl kept hitting him with such force he started to slump down it.

"When he fell to the ground Earl delivered three full-force kicks to his head before stomping on it at least five times."

Mr Campbell told the court both men, who did not know each other, were in Gatton for the annual motorcycle swap meet before their paths crossed.

"Mr Black had an interest he shared with his father in restoring old motorcycles," he said.

"Earl shared the same interest and had travelled to Gatton for the weekend with six friends from his Bribie Island boxing gym."

Mr Campbell said the doctor who performed Mr Black's autopsy the following day described the injuries to his head as "severe".

"The doctor who performed the autopsy found more than 25 blunt-force traumas to his body," he said.

"He found that the two main arteries to his brain were completely severed as a result of several forceful blows.

"He concluded it was from his neck being snapped in a violent manner, which severed the two arteries and resulted in blood leaking into the base of the brain as the cause of death.

"He also found significant bruising to Mr Black's arms, which are consistent with someone attempting to defend themselves."

The trial before Justice Peter Applegarth continues.

Topics:  gatton imperial hotel murder trial



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