Re-trial for manslaughter charge

A man argued that he should be able to opt out of the Queensland legal system.
A man argued that he should be able to opt out of the Queensland legal system. ©istockphoto/DNY59

BRITISH backpacker Daniel Dean has been given a re-trial for the manslaughter of Mark Urch outside a Texas Hold 'Em poker game in Cannonvale.

Dean, 25, and Urch, 29, both played in a poker game at Banjo's Bar at Cannonvale on Saturday, May 24 last year and there was an argument at the poker table.

The argument later continued in the car park and Mark Urch was struck a punch which sent him toppling backwards.

He was rushed to the Townsville General Hospital but he never regained consciousness and died of brain damage eight days later.

A jury of seven women and five men convicted Dean of manslaughter after deliberating for four hours following a three-day trial in the Supreme Court in Mackay in February.

Dean was sentenced to seven years in jail. It was recommended that he be released on parole in May 2011 and he was expected to be deported to England on his release from prison.

At the time of the verdict and sentence, Mr Urch's family said they would campaign to promote the "one punch can kill" campaign.

In a unanimous decision handed down in the Court of Appeal this week, it was ruled that the trial judge may have erred in directing the jury about the defence of provocation.

Dean's appeal was upheld and a retrial was ordered.

The Court of Appeal reserved its reasons and they are expected to be published in several weeks' time.

Dean has been in custody since his arrest in May last year.

He is also in custody waiting the finalisation of drug charges against him.

He is alleged to have had 200 ecstasy tablets sent to him by post from England while he lived in the Whitsundays.

The drugs charges were to be dealt with in the Supreme Court later this year.

No date has been set for the retrial and Dean remains in custody.

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