The man who pulled Shane Holmes away from Chad Hadden outside the Queens Wharf Hotel, after the old friends got into a physical scuffle, said he was concerned Mr Hadden was going to go over the barrier and into the edge of the harbour, a court has heard.
Later that evening, Adam Walton saw Mr Hadden's unconscious body on the footpath not far from the venue, with paramedics and police already on scene.
Mr Walton told the Supreme Court at Newcastle on Wednesday that, at that point, he could see that blood was coming from Mr Hadden's mouth.
Mr Walton gave evidence on the third day of the murder trial over Mr Hadden's death.
Mr Holmes has pleaded not guilty to murder after assaulting Mr Hadden following an afternoon of drinking and socialising together on January 14, 2018. Mr Hadden died in hospital five-and-a-half months after the assault.
The court saw CCTV footage on Wednesday depicting the brief scuffle between Mr Holmes and Mr Hadden in the outdoor area of the Queens Wharf Hotel, about half an hour before the assault that saw Mr Holmes charged.
It showed that Queens Wharf Hotel manager Jacob Atkinson was mistaken in his evidence to the court, in which he said he had been the one to restrain Mr Holmes when the altercation took place.
Mr Walton was drinking at the venue with friends and had his back to Mr Holmes and Mr Hadden - who he did not know and were at the next table.
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But Mr Walton turned and grabbed Mr Holmes in a "bear hug" after he heard a glass smash and saw the pair involved in a struggle.
"I looked around ... and the table was going towards the man in the hat [Mr Hadden]," he said.
Mr Walton said he saw Mr Hadden "trying to get to his feet", so Mr Walton grabbed Mr Holmes around the torso to restrain him.
"I was just trying to stop a guy falling over the edge I suppose," Mr Walton said.
The court heard that no punches were thrown and no property was damaged during the initial melee.
The court heard the pair were separated and ejected from the venue - Mr Holmes out the western side of the hotel and Mr Hadden from the eastern end a few minutes later - in an effort to avoid them coming across each other in the street nearby.
Some members of management and security personnel who were working at the pub that day also gave evidence to the court on Wednesday.
During cross examination, Public Defender Peter Krisenthal suggested that Mr Hadden had either slipped or "lashed out" at security while he was waiting to be removed from the venue - but each witness responded that this was either not the case, or they could not recall whether it happened.
The trial continues.
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