Man on trial for death of best mate

THE partner of a man who died on a camping trip on a remote Far North beach has described trying to wake him up after he was allegedly put in a "sleeper hold" by his best mate during a fight.

Kingaroy man Robbie Irvine, 46, was pronounced dead at Chilli Beach, near Lockhart River in Cape York on July 19, 2016.

His best friend Shane Goodman, 50, who was due to be best man at his wedding to partner Kristy Nicholls, is charged with causing his death, but has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.

The Cairns Supreme Court heard yesterday the pair had been drinking that evening and got into an altercation at their campsite.

Ms Nicholls gave evidence Mr Goodman was holding Mr Irvine while on the ground before rolling onto one side and releasing him.

She said Mr Goodman got up and kicked him in the thigh, called Mr Irvine a "piece of s---", before walking away and punching a car.

"That's when Shane told me he'd put him to sleep. He said: 'He'll be fine, he'll sleep it off until morning'.

"I just sat down beside Rob trying to wake him up. I put my hand up to his nose and mouth and there was no air."

Ms Nicholls said she told Mr Goodman he wasn't breathing and he told her to get out of the way so he could start CPR.

"Shane was yelling to call triple-0," she said.

The court heard a coroner's report released in 2017 had ruled Mr Irvine had died due to pressure on his neck.

Ms Nicholls told the court in her original police report she had not mentioned Mr Goodman kicking him on the ground or that he had told her he put him to sleep, but mentioned both in a second statement made last year.

The court heard the couple had been travelling with Mr Goodman and his wife Cheryl.

The court heard that earlier in the night, Mr Goodman had confided to the couple he no longer loved his wife and wanted to separate as the group consumed multiple drinks.

The trial continues today.



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