Manslaughter charges against NRL player agent dropped
NRL agent Paul Bruce Sutton left the Brisbane Supreme Court a free man on Friday after charges he killed former jockey Shaun Miles in a Kingaroy pub were withdrawn.
Three days into Mr Sutton's manslaughter trial Crown prosecutor Belinda Merrin said there had been "fundamental changes" in evidence and Mr Sutton's claims he had acted in self-defence could not be negated.
The court heard that on May 23, 2013 Mr Miles and Mr Sutton were drinking at the Kingaroy Club Hotel in separate groups when Mr Miles believed he heard Mr Sutton make a disparaging comment about Kingaroy women that he took offence to.
After a brief argument they later saw each other in the pub's beer garden where Mr Miles called Mr Sutton a "scumbag" and took a swing at him.
On Thursday, witness Christopher Lincoln, who had been standing next to Mr Miles when the fight started, said Mr Sutton had told Mr Miles he did not want to fight.
After Mr Miles tried to punch Mr Sutton, the NRL agent grabbed the former jockey and threw him to the ground.
Mr Miles hit his head on concrete and died hours later as walked home.
The prosecution had originally claimed Mr Sutton's actions were reckless and he could have foreseen throwing Mr Miles could have killed the smaller man.
But after the court heard from a number of eye-witnesses, Ms Merrin withdrew the charge.
"The Crown now cannot negate self-defence," she said.
Justice Martin Burns said after the early evidence, dropping the charge seemed "a most appropriate course".
- APN NEWSDESK