Court hears jockey died of brain injury after fight

HOTEL FIGHT: Shaun Miles has been described by his family as good man and father.
HOTEL FIGHT: Shaun Miles has been described by his family as good man and father. Contributed

GAIL Miles walked down a street in Kingaroy in May 2013, on her way home from drinking at a hotel, hoping to find her husband at home. He wasn't.

It wasn't until the next day she was told the devastating news that his body had been found lying in a front yard metres from their home. A jury has heard Mrs Miles's emotional evidence.

NRL player Paul Bruce Sutton has pleaded not guilty to causing the death of Shaun Miles, a bush jockey, after the men were allegedly involved in a fight the night before.

On Wednesday, the first day of Sutton's trial, the court heard he and the 43-year-old were involved in a fight at the Club Hotel that is believed to have followed a comment the defendant made about local Kingaroy women.


In her opening submissions, prosecutor Belinda Merrin said Sutton was in Kingaroy to watch players at a junior rugby league carnival.

She said the men were allegedly

involved in a fight in the beer garden when Sutton restrained Mr Miles in a "bear hug", hoisted him off the floor and forced him to the ground.

Mr Miles was allegedly unconscious for a short period but was then helped into a chair and given water. Ms Merrin also said Mr Miles allegedly refused offers for an ambulance to be called.

"To many of the witnesses, he seemed fine," Ms Merrin told the court.

Later that night, he allegedly told friends he would walk home and started walking down Alford St.

At about 7am his body was found in a front yard about 60m from his home. Ms Merrin said a skull fracture and brain injury caused his death.

Mrs Miles, who was at the hotel with her husband that night, told the court that her husband left the hotel before she did and she thought she would meet him at home.

But when she returned at about 10.45pm and discovered he was not there, she text messaged a friend who had also been drinking with them who indicated they would look for him.

During cross examination, Mrs Miles told the court she and Sutton had a conversation at the hotel following the fight and Sutton was apologetic and concerned for her husband.

The trial is expected to last another nine days.

Topics:  brain injury editors picks jockey toowoomba violent assault

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