Thursday, July 16, 2009

Witness saw argument before fatal punch

A witness has told South Australia's Supreme Court he saw two men arguing with his friend shortly before his friend was allegedly bashed, leading to his death.
Sam Davis, 17, died after allegedly being hit at a Brighton party in May 2008.
Heath Arthur Clake, 19, has pleaded not guilty to Davis' manslaughter.
Davis' friend, Jack Leroy Symonds, testified he attended the party where he was punched and put in a headlock by a man wearing a black jacket.
He said he later saw the same man and another person arguing with Davis in front of the party house.
Symonds said he went to intervene but was hit by the other person.
When he looked back towards Davis he saw his friend lying on the ground and the two men were gone.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

DA won't prosecute man who threw fatal punch

Calling it the toughest decision he's made in 21 years as a prosecutor, Shasta County District Attorney Jerry Benito announced Tuesday that he was not going to charge a Redding man accused of throwing a punch on a dance floor that knocked a man to the ground, eventually killing him.
Benito said that he wanted to charge Lennart Christian Schauman with manslaughter in the death of Adam Michael Martinez, 31, but he didn't think a Shasta County jury would agree beyond a reasonable doubt that Schauman was guilty.
Security video from the April 25 incident at Club Ice showed Schauman, 30, walking up and punching Martinez while he was either dancing with or touching Schauman's girlfriend, Kathy Willoughby, on the dance floor.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mum's anger at sentence for Rhyl man's killer

THE mum of a man who died after "ferocious blows" to his head outside a pub, last night branded her son’s killer a coward.
Tearful Angela Witherspoon expressed anger for the man who took the life of dad-of-two Jonathan Bennett in a violent attack.
The grandmother said she has to live with the horrific CCTV image of the fatal punch which plays over in her mind, as she told of her disgust at the "pitiful" three-year sentence imposed last week on the thug who did it.
Mr Bennett, 40, from Rhyl suffered two fierce strikes to the head in the brutal assault outside the town’s Grapevine pub in Water Street in February.
He was knocked unconscious by 45-year-old Thomas Bryan and died in hospital 13 days later after never coming round.
Experts said he was struck with such ferocious blows that he was probably out cold before hitting the ground.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Footballer jailed for killing rival with a punch

A SUNDAY league footballer who killed a rival player from west London with a single punch has been jailed for 28 months.
Brentford man Stephen Ritchie, 43, was "utterly defenceless" when he was attacked after an ill-tempered match between two rival teams, the Old Bailey heard.
Darren Forwood, 21, from West Drayton, hit Ritchie from behind so hard that his head twisted round and ruptured his arteries as he stumbled and fell to the ground.
Forwood, of Frays Avenue, admitted manslaughter at a hearing last month.
Judge Jeremy Roberts said: "This arose out of a football match which had degenerated into aggression and violence on both sides, which spilled over from the pitch and off the pitch.
"There is too much of this kind of violence around at the moment and it has to be made clear that people who behave in that way will receive severe sentences."
The mother, partner, brother and daughter of the victim were in court.
Some wept as details of the incident at Little Harlington Playing Fields in Hayes, Hillingdon, in November last year were read out.
Timothy Cray, prosecuting, said: "He clearly was a much-loved and well-liked man and the loss to his family, all of whom are in court, is immeasurable."
Ritchie was killed following a game between his team, the Old Greenfordians, and Forwood's team Kingshill Town, who were "close rivals" in the Hayes and District Sunday Football League Division One, Cray said.
Kingshill went 3-0 up in the first half but the game "degenerated" as they collapsed to a 4-3 defeat, with Ritchie sent off for a push and Forwood booked for a bad tackle, the court heard.
After the game, a number of angry Kingshill players who blamed Ritchie for their defeat confronted him.
Cray said: "It is clear that Mr Ritchie showed absolutely no aggression and was heard to say 'I am not fighting you over a game of football'.
"Some of the players from both teams were trying to form a physical barrier, but this defendant - Darren Forwood - came round the back of the barrier.
"He came up behind the victim and Mr Ritchie, who couldn't have sighted him, was utterly defenceless as the blow was given.

"The blow was delivered with sufficient force to knock Ritchie off his feet"

"Cray said it was the blow to the head rather than the fall which caused the "unusual" injuries leading to death.