Todd Parnell's family considers one-punch law campaign

Junior Bronco Todd Parnell's mum Jenny Stirling and his sister Tara Parnell speak outside Brisbane Supreme Court after a jury cannot reach a verdict in the case into Todd's death.
Junior Bronco Todd Parnell's mum Jenny Stirling and his sister Tara Parnell speak outside Brisbane Supreme Court after a jury cannot reach a verdict in the case into Todd's death. Rae Wilson

THE family of junior Bronco Todd Parnell is considering launching a campaign for one-punch laws in Queensland after a jury could not reach a verdict about his attacker's legal responsibility for the death.

The Northern Territory Government last year introduced laws to close a loophole where someone guilty of a deadly king hit could escape conviction because of the difficulty of proving murder or manslaughter.

Western Australia also has one-punch laws.

"Why is Queensland so far behind?" questioned Todd's father Tony.

Wally James Hung has faced a trial in Brisbane Supreme Court for more than two weeks after pleading not guilty to the manslaughter of Todd Parnell.

He claimed he stepped in to defend his friend, who Mr Parnell had just punched, and blocked a blow from Mr Parnell before he punched him once.

Mr Parnell was immediately knocked out and fell to the ground, dying the next day.

A supreme court jury in Brisbane began deliberating on Monday but, even after being given an option for a majority 11-1 verdict, they could not agree on Hung's responsibility.

Hung had earlier been found guilty of manslaughter but was granted an appeal and retrial on a legal technicality.

Sister Tara Parnell said it was almost four years since Todd's death and his family would now discuss with the prosecutors whether to pursue a third trial.

"I guess at the end of the day, no result, guilty or not guilty, will bring Todd home but as Todd's family it just would have been nice to have a decision one way or the other," she said.

"Obviously a very disappointing outcome for us after spending the last two and half weeks trying to come to a verdict."

Todd's mother Jenny Stirling said a hung jury was "very difficult" and the family was considering a one-punch law campaign at the next annual golf day in her son's memory.

She said nothing good had really come from her son's death but her son's friends were much more aware of the consequences of just one punch and were better people for it.

"Because it is so easy and so quick and then you've lost something very precious," she said.

"We talk about one punch can kill.

"If it can save one other family from going through what we've had to go through and what we'll continue to go through for the rest of our lives then (it would be worth it)."

Mr Parnell said his son Todd and their family had a life sentence and this judicial process was "draining and very hard".

Hung's lawyer began making a bail application after the court hearing, noting he had a subsequent conviction for assault occasioning bodily harm.

But he abandoned the request when the justice indicated she could not complete the hearing and indicated he would try again before another justice.

Topics:  manslaughter charge one punch can kill todd parnell

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