Defendant was 'asked' to fight victim: uncle

A man facing a manslaughter charge was "asked'' to fight his victim, a jury heard yesterday.

Graeme Walker testified that his nephew Nathan Graeme Hall had told him moments after the fatal fight that Chanel Lee Simmonds, also known as Chanel Henwood, had "asked me to fight him''.

Hall has denied the charge brought against him in relation to the incident on February 10, 2018, where Mr Henwood died after he was allegedly assaulted at a party at Marist Old Boys' Rugby Football Club.

On the second day of Hall's trial in the High Court at Invercargill, Mr Walker told the court he noticed Mr Henwood's presence at the party because his behaviour was a "bit unusual, almost predatory''.

A "very loud sound'' and raised voices attracted Mr Walker's attention.

He said he saw Hall throw "a right-hand punch'' which missed Mr Henwood.

Shortly afterwards, he saw and heard two other punches - one which had more "a muffed sound'' and other "more like a slap''.

Mr Walker said he had run to help Mr Henwood as soon he "saw Chanel's face on the floor''.

He checked his pulse while others were trying to do CPR on him - blood came out from his nose, the jury heard.

"My gut feeling at that moment was that he had a brain injury.''

He said he was with Mr Henwood until the ambulance arrived. After that, he talked with Hall who was sitting outside.

It was then that Hall allegedly said to him Mr Henwood "asked me to fight him'' and he did not want this to happen.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel Roger Eagles, Mr Walker said he could not see if Mr Henwood tried to throw a punch at Hall because "he did not have an angle''.

Another witness, Clayton Weavers said he saw Mr Henwood's head below Hall's chin.

He saw "two strikes'' from Hall - "a left and a right'', the jury heard.

Richard McKay, who was the DJ at the party, said when he saw Mr Henwood on the ground he thought "he had been knocked out''.

He said he did not know what happened in the incident but when he heard Hall's partner yell out "Nath'', he left his position to help Mr Henwood.

Witness Mandy King, a friend of Hall's sister, said Mr Henwood behaved inappropriately towards her at the party.

She said Mr Henwood grabbed her arms and ask her to leave with him. She told him that she was with someone else, the jury heard.

The trial, before Justice David Gendall, continues.

- Court reporter

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