A statement by an accused man which was recorded on a police officer's body-worn camera could not be regarded as a confession, a Supreme Court judge said.
Justice Stephen Estcourt was summing up in the trial of Kurt Anthony Lowe on Wednesday before a jury is expected to retire to consider its verdict on Thursday.
Mr Lowe, 34, of St Helens, has pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Jason Vivian Stewart about 1.35am on August 11, 2019 at O'Keefe's Hotel.
The jury heard footage from an officer's body-worn camera that Mr Lowe said: "I'm sorry I blew up more than I should have done".
"That goes to his state of mind and whether he believed he needed to defend himself," Justice Estcourt said.
"You couldn't use that to say that Mr Lowe was confessing to causing grievous bodily harm.
"It is for the jury to decide whether the words were said.
"If you find that it was said, it is evidence whether the force used was reasonable."
Justice Estcourt said an alternative verdict of not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm, but guilty of assault, was being left for the jury.
The trial heard that Mr Lowe and Mr Stewart came to blows after a period of tension in the hotel.
Mr Stewart gave evidence that he walked towards Mr Lowe with his hand out in a handshaking gesture when he was struck a number of times to the face.
He suffered a broken eye socket, lacerated eyelid and ruptured tear duct.
Defence counsel Grant Tucker said that the evidence showed that the incident was a fight, not an unprovoked assault.
He said Mr Lowe was acting in self defence.
"Stewart approached Mr Lowe not the other way around, they both grabbed each other and punches were thrown," he said.
He said that Mr Stewart had a blood alcohol content of 0.277 and was not acting rationally.
"We accept Mr Stewart got punched in this fight," he said.
"But if you are going to play with matches you are going to get burned, you start it you have to accept the consequences."
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