A TEENAGER has denied kicking a 50-year-old man in the head as he lay bleeding on the ground after a late night incident in a Redditch street.
Adam Haylor told a jury how he cried when he was told Nigel Shakespeare was in a coma and unlikely to pull through. He told a jury at Worcester Crown Court that he thought he had hit him while flailing his arms as he was grabbed during the incident and that had contributed to his injuries.
Haylor, of Astley Close, Redditch, denies manslaughter. He is on trial with Colin Mahon, aged 18, now of Leyland Road, Burnley, Lancashire, and a 17-year-old, from Telford, who cannot be named for legal reasons, who also deny the charge. Haylor also denies a separate charge of assault causing actual bodily harm.
He told the court he had been celebrating a friend's birthday in the evening on February 23 last year. He had been drinking cider in a summer house set up as a bar at the bottom of the garden at the home of Mahon, his cousin, but he said he was not drunk.
Shortly before midnight, they decided to go into Redditch to a bar. On the way, Haylor, Mahon and the 17-year-old were standing in Sillins Avenue when Mr Shakespeare, who had been drinking in the King's Arms, walked past with his partner Jacqueline Cull.
Haylor said Mr Shakespeare, described in court as a "big man" who was wearing a biker's leather jacket, turned round and asked if any of the three had just insulted him.
Haylor told the jury he had not heard anyone say anything and the 17-year-old put his arm around Mr Shakespeare and started to walk him away to calm the situation down.
Haylor then said he was pushed to the floor by Mrs Cull. As he got up, he heard someone shout that the 17-year-old had been punched and saw him running past. He told the jury he did not see Mr Shakespeare on the ground but panicked and left the scene.
The following day, February 24, he was told Mr Shakespeare was in hospital and the police were at the 17-year-old's house. He and Mahon went to talk to the police but when he saw his friend being taken out in handcuffs, he panicked and ran. He later went back to the police.
The jury has heard Mr Shakespeare was punched in the face and fell, hitting his head. He died from a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain. The jury has been told Haylor was pulled away by Mahon but then went back and stamped on Mr Shakespeare's head.
Medical evidence showed he had a cheekbone fractured by a blow, bruising on his forehead and a cut to the back of his head consistent with the fall that fractured his skull.
The trial continues.