Dad was ‘killed by fatal punch’ after drugs row

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A DAD-OF-TWO was found dead by his daughter a day after being punched twice in the face during a violent incident at his South Yorkshire home, a court heard.

Alan Cartwright’s lifeless body was discovered on the living room floor of his house on Darton Lane, Mapplewell, Barnsley, after he was allegedly dealt the fatal blows by 27-year-old James Walker.

Jurors at Sheffield Crown Court were told Walker launched the punches in a rage when Alan, aged 55, refused to sell him drugs without an upfront payment.

Alan – a well-known local drug dealer who also took prescribed blood-thinning medication – was thrown to the floor, hitting his head on a refrigerator and suffering a brain haemorrhage which led to his death last April.

Walker, of Windsor Avenue, Kexbrough, Barnsley, denies manslaughter but admits a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Sarah Wright, prosecuting, said Walker went to Alan’s house at around 6pm on April 4 to buy amphetamine tablets together with friend David Caves.

“The defendant asked for some amphetamine and asked that he be allowed to pay for it at a later date - a process known as ‘laying on’ the drug,” Miss Wright said, adding Alan refused the request.

“The defendant then punched Mr Cartwright to the left side of the face. As a result he fell over, hitting his head on the fridge door as he fell.”

She said Alan got back up to his feet before he was hit for a second time by Walker and knocked to the floor.

“Mr Cartwright again got up, measured out some of the drug for Mr Walker, and then Mr Walker and Mr Caves left.”

Miss Wright said Alan was seen walking to a local off-licence at 7.30pm by friend Sherri Plant, who said he looked ‘pale and unwell’ and who also noticed marks around his eyes.

The victim’s friend David Rayner, who had been present during the assault, told jurors he called at Alan’s house after 9pm and said his pal was ‘just his normal self’.

“He liked to shrug things off, he said he’d seen worse,” he added.

“It was just the average punch.”

Alan – known by the nickname Tosh – used heroin and cannabis, but only dealt amphetamines, David said.

He told the court he tried to phone his friend the next day, but that there was no answer.

David then contacted Alan’s daughter Aimi, who broke into her dad’s house and made the grim discovery.

A post-mortem examination found Alan had suffered bleeding between the brain and the skull lining, and he could have been dead for ‘a number of hours’ before being found.

In interview following his arrest on April 6, Walker told police officers he lashed out in self-defence when Alan wielded a knife which he used to cut drugs.

The trial continues.