A pizza shop owner decided it was "payback time" after seeing a stranger stop a female employee from chasing a man who'd punched her in the face at a NSW hotel, a jury has heard.
George Joseph Habkouk, 50, has pleaded not guilty in the NSW District Court to assault causing the death of Haydn Butcher outside the hotel at The Entrance on the Central Coast in January 2018.
Habkouk does not dispute striking the 30-year-old with a closed fist in the early hours of New Year's Day, or that he died as a result of being hit, but is fighting the charge on the basis of self-defence and defence of another.
But in opening the Crown case on Tuesday, prosecutor Paul Lynch rejected this, saying Habkouk's response wasn't reasonable in the circumstances.
He said Mr Butcher had his hands up and told security staff he was "just mucking around" after he stopped the woman in her tracks.
Habkouk then came and "struck him with some force" in the head, Mr Lynch said.
A number of witnesses are expected to testify they heard "a very loud crack or thud" when Mr Butcher's head hit the pavement.
He suffered a fractured skull and died in hospital the next morning from a brain injury.
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Habkouk was five to 10 metres behind his female employee when she was "impeded" by Mr Butcher, the prosecutor said.
He argued whatever transpired between the pair had finished before Habkouk decided it was "payback time".
In the defence opening address, barrister Tom Hughes said less than five minutes passed between the woman being "clobbered" inside the hotel during New Year's celebrations and her boss punching Mr Butcher outside.
Mr Hughes said the then 25-year-old woman was stopped by Mr Butcher with "either a punch or what has been described in footy terms as a coat-hanger" as she ran after her attacker.
Within five seconds of Mr Butcher's "deliberate, calculated assault" on the woman he was struck by Habkouk, the barrister said.
He said he'll come to describe his client as "the rescuer" later in the trial.
The woman is expected to tell the jury she saw Mr Butcher "victory dance" after she was hit and that she blacked out for a few seconds.
Mr Hughes said self-defence and the defence of another were both relied on by Habkouk "in spades".
The trial before Judge Jonathan Priestley continues.
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Australian Associated Press