Hookes wife decides to follow husband~~s murderer

Published: Tuesday, September 13, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Melboune:The wife of former Australian cricketer David Hookes will pursue a civil case against a bouncer acquitted in a criminal trial of killing the former star batsman, her lawyer said.

A supreme court jury deliberated for five days before finding 23-year-old Zdravko Micevic not guilty of manslaughter on Monday.

Micevic had been charged with delivering a fatal punch to Hookes during an altercation after his ejection from a Melbourne pub in January 2004.

The 48-year-old former Test cricketer fell backwards after the punch, smacking his head on the road. Hookes, who was coaching the Victoria state first class team at the time, died in hospital the following day.

A lawyer for Hookes' widow Robyn said that while his client would have to accept the decision of the criminal court, she would push ahead with civil proceedings to claim lost income.

"We now have to rely on the civil system to give her some solace in the outcome of that case," lawyer Eugene Arocca said.

"In some regards you can almost equate it to the O.J. Simpson case where criminally they were not able to convict Mr. Simpson but civilly they were able to get damages out of him for what happened."

The civil case will be against Micevic and the owners of the Beaconsfield Hotel where Hookes had been drinking in the hours before his death.

Micevic, who claimed to have acted in self-defence on the night Hookes' was hurt, has offered his condolences to the Hookes family.

But the family said they were disappointed by the outcome of the criminal case which saw Micevic escape a jail term.

"There have been no winners through this process, only losers. Families have suffered immeasurably," Hookes' brother, Terry Cranage, said.

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