DEATH TRIAL: Matthew Ryan, 46, will stand trial over the death of Nigel Doyle, 69, at the Kerwick hotel.
DEATH TRIAL: Matthew Ryan, 46, will stand trial over the death of Nigel Doyle, 69, at the Kerwick hotel. Ross Irby

Jury to decide if punch killed man at Ipswich hotel

A JURY will decide whether a punch delivered by an Ipswich man is in any way the cause of death of a 69-year old resident at a Redbank hotel.

Matthew Clancy Ryan, 46, is charged with unlawful striking causing the death of Nigel Doyle at the Kerwick Hotel on February 11, 2017.

Both men had been hotel residents when they verbally argued on a balcony.

Ryan, who strongly maintains his innocence and is defending the charge, argued unsuccessfully before an Ipswich magistrate that he had no case to answer because of existing medical issues Mr Doyle had. These included hypertension.

After hearing legal argument from Crown legal officer Annica Fritz and defence barrister Jakub Lodziak, Magistrate David Shepherd determined a prima facie case did exist, and it was matter for a Supreme Court jury to decide.

In a phone link-up with the court, the doctor who did the autopsy on Mr Doyle was cross-examined by Mr Lodziak about what effects, if any, Mr Doyle's aneurysm may have had in making him more prone to a rupture.

The autopsy was carried out on February 13, two days after his death at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.

The doctor said the facial injury (on Mr Doyle) could be attributed to a punch inflicted with mild force.

Questioned as to whether the force of the punch could cause an aneurysm to rupture, the doctor said this made it less likely.

The doctor said it was also possible such a rupture could occur independently of the punch.

The court heard a heightened emotional state (caused by a verbal argument) could have also impacted physiologically on Mr Doyle's existing hypertension.

Butthe doctor said it was difficult to answer whether this hypertension also meant there was greater risk of suffering a rupture in a 69-year-old man with an existing aneurysm who had bled previously.

The doctor said it was "certainly possible" that these things alone could have caused the bleeding rupture that afternoon, but did not think it was possible to tease them apart to say what precipitated that final event.

With the doctor's evidence being unable to offer an opinion as to what scenario was more likely, Ms Fritz maintained there was a Crown case to answer.

Mr Shepherd said the evidence was that there appeared to have been a blow delivered by Ryan and that coincidently Mr Doyle fell and didn't recover.

He said it was for a jury to determine on the evidence put before it.

Ms Fritz said evidence included police camera-worn footage, but an interview with Ryan that same afternoon ended when he tested positive to an alcohol reading of 0.189.

Witnesses will include Kerwick Hotel staff.

Mr Shepherd ordered Ryan to stand trial in the Supreme Court at Brisbane on a date to be set. His bail was continued with a condition he not go near the hotel.