Closing arguments in M'boro murder trial have begun

PART OF closing arguments have been given to a jury that will determine whether Maryborough man Simeon Frederick Blair murdered Cleveland Paul Clay in an alleged violent attack on an early morning in 2012.

In the eighth day of the trial before the Maryborough Supreme Court on Thursday, defence barrister Catherine Morgan and Crown prosecutor Glen Cash spent several hours going over evidence made by more than 25 witnesses.

The Crown case alleges Mr Blair attacked Mr Clay with a piece of discarded wood in the early hours of April 28, 2012, at the back of the Carlton Hotel after a scuffle atop a second-floor stair landing.

Mr Clay died on May 1 from multiple head injuries described in court as "catastrophic".

Mr Blair has pleaded not guilty to murder. Ms Morgan told the jury it could not be satisfied Mr Blair meant to kill or permanently injure Mr Clay when he swung a piece of wood at him minutes after Mr Clay fell from the stair landing some time between 1am and 2am.

"Just because you want to fight doesn't mean you want to kill," she said.

Ms Morgan said even if the jury found itself satisfied Mr Blair did intend death or grievous bodily harm, she said jurors would also have to be satisfied he was provoked, making him guilty of manslaughter only and not murder.

She also called into question the reliability of several witnesses who were drinking with both men and had smoked cannabis with Mr Clay in the hours leading up to the attack.

Ms Morgan said none of the men had any credibility.

She said it would never be known whether the other men present on the night had traces of Mr Clay's blood on their clothes because police only tested Mr Blair's clothes.

Mr Cash will complete his address to the jury when the trial continues on Monday.

Topics:  carlton hotel maryborough maryborough supreme court murder trial simeon frederick blair

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