Michael Trevor Royce Collins Found Guilty in Fatal 2020 Fortitude Valley Assault

After a week-long trial in the Brisbane Supreme Court, Michael Trevor Royce Collins has been found guilty of a fatal one-punch attack in Fortitude Valley on Melbourne Cup Day 2020. The altercation stemmed from a petty dispute between the 30-year-old Brisbane man and the victim, 37-year-old Shannon Finemore.

Balcony altercation

On November 3, 2020, Collins and his co-accused, Harley James Raithby Hoodless, had spent the afternoon drinking on the balcony of Collins’ apartment. According to the prosecution, the men became involved in a verbal altercation with Finemore and another man, Scott McGillivrey, as they walked past the balcony.

Collins said in a police interview that he believed Finemore was “joking” and mocking him. On the contrary, McGillivrey testified that the verbal exchange was sparked by the men shouting down at them.

Prosecutors said Finemore and McGillivrey continued walking after the verbal exchange. But Collins and Hoodless allegedly armed themselves with a crowbar and confronted the men on the street.

Fatal punch thrown

While Collins claims he only wanted to scare Finemore and McGillivrey, prosecutors allege the men formed a common intention to attack them. During the ensuing confrontation, Hoodless punched Finemore in the head, rupturing his femoral artery.

Finemore was knocked unconscious and died in hospital days later, on November 9, without ever regaining consciousness.

Michael Trevor Royce Collins convicted

Ahead of Collins’ trial in the Brisbane Supreme Court this week, Hoodless pleaded guilty to unlawful striking causing death. Collins pleaded not guilty to the same charge, but admitted to a charge of going armed to cause fear.

Collins’ defence lawyer contended he did not have a common intention with Hoodless to assault the men. She argued that any common assault plan ended before Hoodless threw the fatal punch, noting that Collins verbally tried to stop Hoodless during the attack.

In his police interview, Collins maintained that he only intended to “put the wind up them.”

However, the prosecution maintained that a common assault was intended based on both men arming themselves and pursuing the victims.

Collins will be sentenced at a later date after the jury found him guilty of one count of unlawful striking causing death.

Published 1 September 2023