If you have been following the story of the casino bouncers acquitted in court today after a trial lasting four weeks, then you will know that it is far from a straightforward one. The three men were restraining an intoxicated player, forty year old Anthony Dunning, when they were too rough on him and caused injuries that turned out to be severe. He later died in hospital, having been taken there from the Crown Casino in Melbourne in July last year. Two of them were then charged with manslaughter, with one charged with assault, but a judge has ruled that all three of them were not guilty and were simply doing their jobs when the incident happened.
The two men charged with manslaughter were Matthew Scott Lawson, 27, and Cameron Paul Sanderson 40, while the man accused with assault was 24 year old Benjamin Michael Vigo. They were all obviously relieved at the verdict, shaking hands, hugging and smiling as they left the Victorian Supreme Court after hearing their verdict. Prosecutors had argued that the way in which they slammed Mr Dunning to the floor and restrained him showed an undue use of force, but the defence argued that they had no way of knowing about the victim’s history of gross heart disease which came as a result of his morbid obesity.
Not everyone was happy about the result, however. “They’ve got away with it, completely got away with it,” Mr Dunning’s sister, Joanne Rogers, said.”They did not need to go to those lengths. He was actually walking out. He could’ve been out the door and still alive.” Meanwhile, the Crown Casino spokespeople are refusing to comment very much on anything that does not involve their slot machine games, keeping very tight lipped about whether the men will be back to work as security staff or not. “Crown has been advised of the jury’s verdict and is considering its implications,” was the only statement released in reaction to the end of the trial, and there is not much in the way of clues in those words.