Witness collapses in courtroom drama

THE star witness in a Warrnambool court case on Monday collapsed and was taken to hospital.

Ronald Ross was giving evidence in the committal hearing of Heath John Goodman, 41, of Rashleigh Street, Digby, who has been charged with recklessly causing injury and unlawful assault.

Mr Ross had been cross-examined by barrister Tom Moisidis for about 90 minutes when he asked for a break.

He then collapsed, an ambulance was called and he was transported to Warrnambool Base Hospital. In court Mr Ross said his son had been in trouble with police over driving matters which he claimed Mr Goodman had reported.

He said when he made a report to police over Mr Goodman’s children riding an unregistered motorbike the local police officer did not pursue the report.

Mr Ross said he knew Mr Goodman was a sheep farmer and claimed the accused had shot a gun across his property.

He also said Mr Goodman had hit his arm with a car’s mirror while driving past and grabbed his arm while riding a quad bike.

Mr Ross agreed he didn’t like Mr Goodman. About 4.30pm on November 25 last year Mr Ross and a friend were loading a dismantled shed and Mr Goodman was herding sheep.

Mr Ross said he heard Mr Goodman yell out that he was driving sheep, he took a couple of steps towards Mr Goodman but then turned around and went back to loading the trailer.

He said he then heard footsteps, turned around to see Mr Goodman a short distance away and threw a piece of wood at Mr Goodman’s feet to slow him down or stop him.

“But the elephant came over the top and belted the crap out of me. It was all but two seconds between when I realised he was coming down the drive and the first punch landed,” he said.

Mr Ross said he finished up on the ground after receiving the first punch.

He then asked magistrate Jonathan Klestadt for a break and was taken to hospital about 11.45am.

It was the second break granted by the magistrate and there was also a pause to let Mr Ross compose himself after he started to give evidence about 10.15am.

The committal hearing continued with other witnesses giving evidence.

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