The woman who placed the Triple Zero call after Chad Hadden was allegedly assaulted by his mate Shane Holmes says she saw Mr Holmes punch Mr Hadden two to three times while Mr Hadden was on his back, not responding.
"I saw a man lying on the ground face-up and another man standing over him," Prudence Bowe told the Supreme Court on Thursday, on the fourth day of the murder trial over Mr Hadden's death.
The court heard from witnesses who were near the Newcastle waterfront on the evening of January 14, 2018, who saw the pair after Mr Hadden was already on the ground.
Mr Hadden died in hospital five-and-a-half months after the incident, which followed an afternoon of drinking beer with his longtime friend - Mr Holmes - at Queens Wharf Hotel.
The court heard that Ms Bowe had been walking with her boyfriend Justin Spaull, who also gave evidence, when she heard a "loud thud" that attracted her attention.
Ms Bowe said Mr Hadden was on the ground, not moving of his own accord, as Mr Holmes crouched and punched him "two to three times in the side of the head" - though she was unsure whether the third blow took place. She said Mr Hadden was moving "only with the roll of the force applied to him" and he "remained lifeless" on the ground.
Ms Bowe said Mr Holmes then stood at the scene briefly, "a little disorientated", before he threw his arms in the air and walked west with a stagger - she rejected Public Defender Peter Krisenthal's suggestion that Mr Holmes was walking with a limp.
She said Mr Holmes had a "quite aggressive" demeanour.
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Mr Krisenthal suggested Ms Bowe was too far away to tell whether Mr Holmes had closed fists, given she was unsure about his tattoos when providing a description to the Triple Zero operator.
Mr Krisenthal suggested that Ms Bowe was unable to see whether Mr Holmes was landing punches or slaps on Mr Hadden. Ms Bowe rejected both suggestions.
Later on Thursday, Mr Spaull also told the court a sound drew his attention to Mr Holmes and Mr Hadden.
"I heard a crack, thud," he said. "To me it sounded like a pallet, like something heavy had hit the ground."
When he turned, he told the court, he saw "a man laying on his back with another man crouched over him, hitting into his face".
"He was striking the man in the face in a way that caused the man's head to go side-to-side," he said, adding that he remembered seeing at least three blows.
But Mr Spaull could not say "with all confidence" that Mr Holmes was using closed fists.
Mr Spaull said he and another witness followed Mr Holmes to keep an eye on him until police arrived, after Mr Holmes left the scene saying: "you got what you deserved".
He stood by his evidence after Mr Krisenthal suggested that he had been further away from the pair during the incident than he had told the court.
The trial continues.
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