A man accused of hitting a Melbourne surgeon in the head told police he had no intention of hitting him hard.
Joseph Esmaili, 24, faces the Supreme Court on Monday for the trial, charged with a murder charge for an illegal and dangerous act.
"He was not trying to hit him hard, he should not have hit him in the first place," Esmaili told police during an interview told by prosecutors in court.
Joseph Esmaili, 24, (pictured) is accused of killing a respected surgeon with a single blow after being told to quit smoking outside a hospital
Esmaili said he felt pressured by a dispute over a smoking ban and that the doctor was "ready for" a confrontation.
Patrick Pritzwald-Stegmann, 41, died in June 2017 when his life support was suspended, four weeks after the alleged assault.
"I felt he pressured me, I can not handle those things," Esmaili told police during an interview told by prosecutors in court.
The defendant said in the interview that he did not intend to hit the surgeon hard and that he should not have done it.
"I kept saying to get rid of the shit," Esmaili told police.
Esmaili (pictured) is accused of shooting down the respected surgeon Patrick Pritzwald-Stegmann with a single blow in the lobby of Box Hill Hospital in Melbourne on May 30, 2017
Chief Prosecutor Brendan Kissane, QC, said in his opening that the defendant swore to Mr. Pritzwald-Stegmann after the surgeon asked the security personnel to remove him and his friends for smoking in a non-smoking area.
"The defendant walked to the area and listened to Mr. Pritzwald-Stegmann talking to the reception staff and told him" what if he is going to fuck? ", Said Mr. Kissane.
The discussion intensified near the elevators and Esmaili allegedly hit the surgeon and fled the hospital.
The images of the attack, captured in the hospital's CCTV cameras, were shown to jurors on Monday.
The 22-year-old Esmaili was interviewed by the police the next day after his father saw him on the news and doubled it.
Defense attorney John Desmond argued that the doctor had been aggressive with Esmaili and followed him several times in the hospital.
Esmaili was interviewed by the police the day after the attack, his father saw him on the news and doubled it.
"My client is retiring," Desmond said of the CCTV images.
"It's the doctor who keeps looking, he leaves his purse, he's ready for that," Desmond told the court.
Mr. Pritzwald-Stegmann suffered bilateral fractures in the skull and was found to be bleeding from the nose and mouth after the attack, the court was informed.
After receiving immediate treatment at Box Hill Hospital, he was transferred to The Alfred and spent several weeks in a coma.
His life support was turned off on June 27 and he died a day later.
The jury will visit Box Hill Hospital to study the scene on Tuesday morning and three witnesses are expected to give evidence in the afternoon.
It is said that after Dr. Pritzwald-Stegmann (pictured) told Esmaili to smoke in a non-smoking area, there was a brief altercation, which led Esmaili to hit him in the back of the head from behind.
Pritzwald-Stegmann, a father of two children aged 41, died four weeks later.
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