Defendant says he was attacked by victim "out of the blue"

"HE JUST whacked me clean out of the blue."

Rheuben James Tomarra told police the victim of an assault had actually attacked him, the District Court in Mackay was told yesterday.

The 44-year-old has pleaded not guilty to one count each of assault occasioning bodily harm and grievous bodily harm against Quentin Corowa on November 6 in 2012.

The court was told Tomarra, of Beaconsfield, had said he'd driven to a home on Emu St, Slade Point, with his uncle, Leslie Tomarra.

During a recorded interview with police in 2013, which was played for the jury, Tomarra said he'd gone along as a "peacekeeper". He admitted that he'd been drinking beer and wine on the day.

When asked if he'd yelled abuse at Mr Corowa, Tomarra said his uncle had been the one yelling out.

"I was there to make peace," he told police in the interview. "I was trying to cool everyone down."

Tomarra said he hadn't gone to the home with a weapon, but others in the car had been armed.

"I didn't come in and use weapons or nothing. I just came to talk," he said.

Tomarra is accused of striking Mr Corowa in the head with a wooden instrument and then holding him in a "bear hug" while Leslie Tomarra struck him on the arm with a wooden weapon.

Mr Corowa received a two-centimetre laceration to his forehead and a broken arm. The court was told there was no argument about his injuries or that they constituted bodily harm and grievous bodily harm.

Rheuben Tomarra denied the allegations against him and said Mr Corowa had attacked him with a shovel.

"He nearly knocked me out with it," Tomarra said. "I didn't throw a punch or nothing."

The Crown closed its case yesterday afternoon.

When asked by Judge Paul Smith, defence barrister Phillip Moore, for Tomarra, elected not to give or call evidence during the trial. It is anticipated the seven-man, five-woman jury will begin deliberations today.


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