Timothy England’s lawyer says he was “dragged into something that was not his doing”. (ABC News: Jesse Thompson)
A man has had his charges upgraded to unlawful striking causing death after a man he allegedly punched while out celebrating his birthday died in hospital.
Timothy England, 20, allegedly punched Brett Thomson, 32, outside a Cairns bar last Friday night.
Mr Thomson, who fell back onto concrete, died in hospital from head injuries earlier this week.
Mr England had initially been charged with grievous bodily harm, but that was upgraded in the Cairns Magistrates Court today to unlawful striking causing death.
The 32-year-old lived in the Cairns suburb of Bungalow and had gone to Smithfield State High School. (Facebook: Brett Thomson)
It is understood the pair became involved in an argument, after Mr Thomson made a comment about Mr England’s sister.
Friend Damon Goodwin said Mr Thomson suffered extreme brain damage, brain swelling, and bleeding as a result of the incident.
Raised in Cairns, the 32-year-old was described as a keen traveller, skateboarder, surfer, and spearfisher.
“A young man who finds beautiful beaches, the ocean, skateparks, close friends and family as his safe haven. This was his way to escape and create his crazy memories and leave his footprints in this great gift, we all call life,” he said on a Gofundme page that has raised $14,000 so far for funeral expenses.
“He was a larger than life, live-for-the-moment type of guy,” Damon Goodwin said.
“Nothing fazed him.
“He was just a guy that lived life to the fullest.”
Man ‘didn’t go looking for trouble’, lawyer says
Mr England’s friends and family crowded the Cairns Magistrates Court on Friday, where his charges were upgraded.
It was the apprentice electrician’s second appearance in court this week.
Earlier this week, the court heard Mr England had been celebrating his 20th birthday with family and friends and was leaving the venue when a dispute broke out.
Timothy England (centre) flanked by his parents and lawyer outside court in Cairns today. (ABC News: Jesse Thompson)
Mr England’s lawyer Bebe Mellick said his client, who had no criminal history, “didn’t go out looking for trouble”.
“He was dragged into something that was not his doing,” he added.
Magistrate Terry Browne said Mr England could face a very lengthy jail term if the case was substantiated.
“The bail objection outlines, if substantiated, a tragic set of circumstances,” he said.
“On one hand, very serious injuries have been received to the victim, and on the other hand, you are 20 years of age, on this night out celebrating your 20th birthday.”
Mr Thomson is being remembered as an adventurous person, who enjoyed surfing and spearfishing. (Facebook: Brett Thomson)
Mr England was bailed on strict conditions, including that he report to the police three times a week, hand in his passport and doesn’t leave Queensland.
CCTV footage capturing the incident will form part of an ongoing investigation.
The matter will return to court in August.