Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Man admits his punch killed dad in Gateshead pub

A PUB peacemaker was killed after he was mistaken for an aggressor.
Dad-of-four Steven Johnson, 54, had raised his hand in a bid to quell trouble in a Gateshead pub.
But Kelvin Davies mistook the gesture for a threatening one and punched him unconscious.
Mr Johnson, from Teams, Gateshead, died nine months later of his injuries and yesterday Davies pleaded guilty to his manslaughter.
Paul Sloan QC, for Davies, said: “The defendant accepts, whether rightly or wrongly, he believed force might be about to be used against him.
“But he accepts the punch he delivered was excessive in all the circumstances.”
Davies attacked Mr Johnson in The Trafalgar in Gateshead on January 28 last year.
The Federation Brewery caretaker was in a coma for nine months and died in hospital.
Tim Parkin, prosecuting, said: “Perhaps in the deceased was seen in the circumstances to be a peacemaker but nonetheless, a hand raised can be misunderstood.”
The case was not fully opened and sentencing was adjourned for pre-sentence reports to be compiled.
Judge Esmond Faulks told Davies: “You have pleaded guilty to this serious charge.
“You will get credit for the guilty plea in due course when it comes to sentence.
“I’m not going to sentence you today because I would like to know a bit more about your background and the circumstances.”
Davies, 26, of Oak Square, Teams, Gateshead was given conditional bail until the week beginning June 30.

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