A man involved in an altercation in Launceston CBD thought his friend was dead when he saw him lying on a footpath in a pool of blood, the Launceston Magistrates Court heard.
Dakota James Bannister, 24, of Newnham, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of common assault by punching three men to the head on December 21, 2019.
At a hearing, Hayden Reynolds gave evidence that a group of his friends were walking down George Street when two men came towards them. He said one of the men had hip and shouldered him "quite aggressively".
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He said a friend, Christopher Hughes, had stepped between himself and Mr Bannister after he asked: "what was that for?". He said Mr Hughes was punched by the aggressor who he now knew to be Mr Bannister.
"I ended up on the ground hitting my elbow as I went and as I got up off the ground I heard quite a loud thud," he said.
Under questioning from police prosecutor Matt Hills, Mr Reynolds said he had seen his friend William Forrest lying on the pavement. "He looked dead basically," he said. "He was unconscious and there was a pool of blood around his head and he was making a loud groaning noise." He said Mr Forrest came to after a minute or two.
Mr Hughes gave evidence that he felt a hit in the mouth as he stepped in between a big bloke and Mr Reynolds. "I felt the tooth snapped in half," he said.
Mr Hughes said he heard someone yell "Come on Dakota, it's not worth it."
He said he used his shirt to stem the blood flowing from Mr Forrest. He said dentistry had cost him $7000 and Magistrate Sharon Cure suggested he might be able to claim victims of crime compensation.
While they waited for an ambulance another man in the group told him: "That's Dakota Bannister".
Mr Forrest said that he woke up on the footpath. He said the whole week was wiped from his memory and that he had been off work for six weeks.
Mr Hills submitted photographs which showed Mr Forrest with two black eyes, a chipped tooth and a split on the back of his head.
"Yes that is the back of my head, they shaved it and put half a dozen stitches in there," he said.
Another witness gave evidence that he had previously seen Mr Bannister play football.
"Were you a spectator?" defence counsel Jessica Stewart asked.
"Yes and I have met him face to face as well," the witness said.
"Could you have been mistaken that it was Mr Bannister?" Ms Stewart asked. "I don't think so," the witness said.
The hearing was adjourned until February 8, 2021, when a third complainant William Kennewall is expected to give evidence.