Todd Parnell and his mum, Jenny Stirling. Todd was killed outside the Bribie Island Rugby League club house in 2009.
Todd Parnell and his mum, Jenny Stirling. Todd was killed outside the Bribie Island Rugby League club house in 2009. Contributed

Mother can't face footage of son coping fatal blow to head

VIDEO footage showing junior Broncos player Todd Parnell hitting the deck after a punch to the head at a Bribie Island party was too much for his mother.

Jenny Stirling had bravely sat through half an hour of vision showing dozens of young men wrestling outside the Warrigals clubhouse at Bongaree but she left Brisbane Supreme Court, tissue clutched to her face, moments after seeing the fight that stole her 23-year-old son's life too early.

Wally James Hung, 24, is facing a manslaughter trial after pleading not guilty in Brisbane Supreme Court.

His legal team asked the jury to look at why Hung punched Mr Parnell and the "mild" force used.

Defence barrister James Godbolt suggested the jury would conclude the punch was a direct reaction to Mr Parnell hitting his mate Peter Gale who was smaller than the other footballers.

Hung told police he stepped in to defend his friend and had "blocked" Mr Parnell's arm before he threw a punch.

"It was just a reaction, just like everyone would do," the court will hear in a police video interview.

"I shouldn't have hit him but I just got really mad because he's Todd, he'll shit all over people, picking on little Pete, a guy younger than him"

The court heard there had been 70 to 100 people at a joint 21st party on July 25, 2009, with many people seeing different things in the lead-up to the punch at 2.18am.

Then Bribie Island Football Club president Helen Adams told the court Mr Parnell was a "very talented footballer" who was a junior Bronco and a five-eighth with the Warrigals.

She said he had returned to the Bribie team for a year to play with his mates but planned to return to the Broncos.

Ms Adams said it was not unusual to see young footballers shoving each other around boisterously, as seen in the club's CCTV footage.

Crown prosecutor Phil McCarthy told the court Hung, who had grown up playing a the Warrigals club, had been drinking in the club's "pig pen" and calling out "smash number six" - Parnell's jersey - throughout the earlier A grade game.

He said witnesses would describe seeing the men, who did not get along, "eyeball each other", niggling and play-wrestling throughout the night.

Mr McCarthy said Mr Parnell was later "blindsided by a king hit to the side of the head".

Mr Parnell collapsed and hit his head hard on the concrete.

He was knocked out and had his life support turned off two days later.

Mr McCarthy said a pathologist would tell the court Mr Parnell suffered an injury through a "rapid rotational force to the head".

He said there was a large bruise behind Mr Parnell's ear and noted he had a 0.115% BAC two hours after the punch.

The trial continues.



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