Teen in manslaughter trial said he had "no desire to harm" victim

First published in News

THE teenager who threw a punch in a Redditch street incident which led to the death of a 50-year-old man told a jury at Worcester Crown Court that he felt terrible.

The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons said: "I never wished it to come this far. I had no desire to harm him that evening."

The defendant, who was 16 at the time of the incident in February last year and who is now 17,  admitted that his punch felled Nigel Shakespeare in Sillins Avenue.

Mr Shakespeare suffered a brain injury when his head cracked on the road surface and he died later in hospital. The prosecution also allege that he was kicked in the head by another youth as he lay on the ground.

The youth and two companions, Adam Haylor, 18, of Astley Close, Redditch, and Colin Mahon, also 18, of Albert Road, Halesowen, are jointly charged with manslaughter. They all plead not guilty.
Giving evidence, the youth claimed that he was struck first and just wanted to get away from Mr Shakespeare, whom he described as a big, stocky man, possibly a biker. Mr Shakespeare was angry and he tried to calm him down.

He added: "I was not looking for trouble. I stepped back but he had contact with the bottom of my chin. I shouted out that he had hit me. He was stilll angry and he was coming towards me. I thought he was going to hit me again. I swung my arm and hit him with my clenched fist. He was too close for me to push him away. I had no desire to harm him."

The trial continues

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