Man grabbed crowbar before mate’s fatal Cup Day punch
Cheryl Goodenough |
Shannon Finemore never made it home from Melbourne Cup celebrations three years ago.
The 37-year-old and Scott McGillivrey were walking home in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley when two men came down from a first floor apartment to confront them.
Michael Trevor Royce Collins was armed with a crowbar and flanked by his mate Harley James Raithby Hoodless.
What followed was a completely gratuitous and unnecessary act of violence, crown prosecutor David Finch told a Brisbane court on Tuesday.
Collins believed the men were mocking him over an argument he had been having with his partner on his apartment balcony.
Mr McGillivrey says he and Mr Finemore had been joking between themselves, unrelated to anything happening upstairs.
CCTV footage shows Collins grab the crowbar from his garage as he walked from the apartment to the street with Hoodless following an exchange.
Collins didn’t use the crowbar but Hoodless, now aged 31, punched Mr Finemore in the head, causing him to fall to the ground.
He never regained consciousness.
Mr Finemore died days later in hospital, with his mother telling the court the family had to make the heart-wrenching decision to discontinue his life support.
“If it wasn’t for Melbourne Cup Shannon would still be here today,” she said, weeping.
Collins, now 32, was not the principal offender and remained at the scene when Mr Finemore was obviously seriously injured.
He was found guilty by a jury of unlawful striking causing death in August, while Hoodless, who has been in custody since the November 2020 punch, pleaded guilty to the same charge.
Mr Finch said both men have a criminal history, with Collins having been convicted for arming himself with a machete to confront a person known to him under the perception they had stolen from him.
“Perhaps, like in this matter, … it sets the tone of what’s to follow when someone goes with a weapon,” Brisbane Supreme Court Justice Melanie Hindman said during submissions.
Collins’ barrister Victoria Trafford-Walker said sending her client – who spent 717 days behind bars before being bailed about a year ago – back into custody would be counterproductive to his rehabilitation.
He was not the principal offender but was the instigator in going downstairs armed, while Hoodless went along with the plan, Justice Hindman said.
“They could have stayed on the balcony and acted like sensible people.”
Justice Hindman said the men acted with a common purpose to assault somebody and a person had ended up dead.
“He might not have actually done the strike but he set the tone for everything that then followed,” she added.
Justice Hindman is due to sentence the men on Thursday.AAP