Former NRL star Craig Field found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter

Former NRL player Craig Field has been found not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of farmer Kelvin Kane outside a north coast pub.

Mr Kane, 50, was found lying unconscious outside the Kingscliff Beach hotel on the NSW north coast on July 15, 2012. The Tweed cattle farmer was placed on life support in hospital but later died.

On Tuesday a NSW Supreme Court jury sitting in Lismore delivered their verdict following a three-week trial.

The former South Sydney rugby league captain had been on bail during the trial but it was revoked by Justice Elizabeth Fullerton after the verdict was handed down.

During the trial Field admitted to hitting Mr Kane, but his defence team argued he did not deliver the blow that caused a fatal brain haemorrhage.

Field said Mr Kane had started a fight with his friend Shaun Fathers and he had tried to act as a "peacemaker".

However, the altercation escalated and the Crown alleged Field delivered a fatal blow to Mr Kane's right temple region, causing death.

Fathers was originally charged with murder but this was dropped following a committal hearing. In April, Fathers pleaded guilty to one count of affray and was placed on a good behaviour bond.

Field will reappear in court on December 15.

Field began his league career with Souths in 1990 and was promoted to captain in 1994 before leaving them in 1996.

He spent two seasons at Manly before joining Balmain Tigers, which became Wests Tigers in 2000. He was dropped from the club by 2002.

He had a playing and coaching stint with Pia in France in 2002 and 2003 before returning to Australia.

Field had more recently been the head coach of the Cudgen Hornets A Grade side in the Gold Coast/Tweed Rugby League competition.

The story Former NRL star Craig Field found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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