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Jury's out in jailhouse bashing case

A jury has begun deliberating in the case of a man accused of a jailhouse bashing.

Shane Cringle was on trial in the ACT Supreme Court, having pleaded not guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Cringle is accused of attacking the alleged victim in the remand section of the Alexander Maconochie Centre in October 2011.

But Cringle has claimed self-defence, saying the complainant threw the first punch in the incident.

The court heard the alleged victim was in his cell after lunch when the assault occurred.

He said he was concentrating on rolling a cigarette when he was kicked in the face.

The complainant said he fell to the floor and rolled into a ball to shield himself from further blows.

He claimed he did not see his attacker.

Cringle admitted he fought with the alleged victim but denied kicking him in the head.

Cringle said he went to the cell to tell the complainant to move to the protection unit for his own safety.

He said the alleged victim got upset after hearing of rumours circulating about his involvement with children and threw a punch.

Cringle told the court he threw two punches in return, one of which hit the alleged victim in the face.

Given the contradictory accounts of events, jurors were told by lawyers they must determine which version was true.

Secondly, they must determine whether Cringle acted in self-defence and the injuries constituted actual bodily harm.

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