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Death-fall bouncer guilty of Perth murder

Published: 5:34AM Wednesday June 20, 2012 Source: AAP/ONE News

A 152kg bouncer has been found guilty of murdering a New Zealand man by pushing him out of a second-storey hotel window.

A West Australian Supreme Court jury delivered a guilty verdict against Stefan Pahia Schmidt, 26, late on Wednesday.

Schmidt did not deny pushing Andrew Marshall, 29, through the window of the Ocean Beach Hotel in Perth's upmarket Cottesloe in May 2011, but pleaded not guilty, saying the death was an accident.

Marshall is the cousin of Feilding farmer Scott Guy, who was shot dead in his driveway at his farm in 2010. Ewen Macdonald is accused of shooting his brother-in-law dead and is currently on trial. Macdonald has pleaded not guilty.

Marshall had been talking to two girls with his back to the window when Schmidt approached and told the women - whom he knew - to go home.

He also told Marshall to "f*** off" and then pushed him after Marshall allegedly said something in reply.

In his closing address to the jury on Tuesday, defence lawyer Tom Percy said this was not a case of murder.

"This was not an unlawful assault," Percy said of the push that ended Marshall's life.

"It was a skirmish in a pub."

Percy added that if the former bouncer, rugby player and trained boxer and kick-boxer had intended any serious harm to Marshall, "he would have smashed him".

The lawyer blamed the window, saying if it had been safety glass, "we wouldn't be here today".

"Andrew Marshall was desperately unlucky and so, by the same token, is the accused," he said.

He conceded Schmidt should not have fled the pub as Marshall lay dying on the footpath outside.

"Of course he should never have left the hotel," Percy said.

"But it's all very well to be wise in hindsight.

"Mr Schmidt is not on trial for showing a lack of compassion on the night."

Nor was he on trial for punching and pushing another man to the ground as Schmidt tried to leave - an incident caught on security camera just seconds after he had pushed Marshall through the window.

'A coil ready to spring'

Prosecutor Amanda Forrester, in her closing address to the jury, described Schmidt as "like a coil, ready to spring'' when he "sprung on Mr Marshall''.

She said any reasonable person - not to mention a former crowd controller with fight experience - would have known the dangers of pushing a man standing in front of a second-storey window.

"The accused didn't just push (Mr Marshall) towards the window, he pushed him at it, through it,'' she said.

Forrester said it was like "picking up a gun, not checking to see if it had any bullets in it, pointing it at someone and pulling the trigger ... then saying the safety catch wasn't on".

"It's an inherently dangerous thing to do,'' she said.

"He intended to injure him.''

Schmidt had earlier testified that Marshall got in his way as he tried to tell two girls at the pub he knew to go home.