Corowa youth to stand trail over death

A COROWA youth has been committed to stand trial for manslaughter over the death of teenager Stewart Wilson last year.

A committal hearing involving the youth, now 17, was heard in Albury Children’s Court yesterday before magistrate Tony Murray with two witnesses called to give evidence.

One of them was pathologist Dr Issabella Brouwer, who gave evidence via a video link from Sydney.

A brief of evidence outlined how Mr Wilson, 18, was headbutted by the youth, then 16, after a dispute at Corowa’s McDonald’s restaurant about 9.15pm on March 29 last year.

Soon after Mr Wilson complained of a headache and went to bed about 9.30pm.

His sister found him dead in bed about noon the following day.

Dr Brouwer said in a statement provided to police the cause was: “Death most likely followed a headbutt to the right temple area.”

She said yesterday Mr Wilson suffered a short hairline fracture in the temple area.

He had an extremely thin temporal bone and not much force would have been required to cause the injury.

Dr Brouwer said she was unable to say whether Mr Wilson had died before or after midnight.

A bail application for the youth in Corowa Children’s Court last year was told a spilt ice-cream sparked an altercation leading to the death.

The youth’s ice-cream had accidentally spilt on to Mr Wilson.

Mr Wilson had then wiped some of the ice-cream on the head of the youth, who reacted angrily, forcing Mr Wilson backwards on a table.

Others intervened, separating them and the group was asked to leave the restaurant.

Outside, the youth tried to run at Mr Wilson, but was restrained in a “bear hug”.

When released, the youth again ran at Mr Wilson but was intercepted.

The youth punched the person holding him to break free and made another attempt to run at Mr Wilson, but was restrained a third time.

While being restrained by a friend, the youth tilted his head back and headbutted Mr Wilson.

He stood stunned and then told the youth: “Stop, I will give you money.”

Friends took the youth away and he later approached Mr Wilson, apologised and asked for $1 to buy another ice-cream.

Mr Murray committed the youth for trial in the District Court at Albury with the case listed for a phone call-over on April 2.