Fatal punch was in ‘self defence’

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A YOUNG Doncaster man has admitted punching tragic teenager David Cox before he fell to the ground and suffered fatal head injuries.

But Crown Prosecution Service lawyers ruled that Carl Reade, aged 20, from Bessacarr, was acting in self defence during the melee outside Luciano’s pizzeria in Nostell Place in June 2009 .

They will not prosecute anyone.

The inquest into David’s death yesterday heard evidence from all the men who were involved in the altercation.

It started after David had been drinking in Haslam Park with his sister’s boyfriend, Nathan McGuigan.

They were walking through the shopping precinct when they came across five young men who were having a kickabout.

A “staring match” ensued between them and words were exchanged.

In evidence, Mr Reade said David - whom they did not know - came at his friend, Darren Bird, aggressively and headbutted him.

“I grabbed David by his clothing and pulled him away to try and break it up. He got upset and started threatening to kill me.

“He proceeded to come towards me so I stepped back,” he said.

“David kept headbutting me a few times and I flicked my arm out to get him away and it connected with David’s jaw. It was a jab.

“David was still shouting stuff and I turned around and he was coming towards me - and then he trips and bangs his head.

“He somehow gets to his feet and falls over and hits his head again, this time with a really hard thud and making a horrible noise.”

Mr Reade said Mr McGuigan then tried to lift David, of Hallam Close, Bessacarr, off the pavement but dropped him and banged his head again.

The senior detective, Det Chf Insp Matt Fenwick, said the death was initially treated as a murder investigation but officers viewed CCTV footage which showed David falling to the ground and bumping his head three times.

The CPS decided there was insufficient evidence to proceed to court on the basis that the suspects were acting in self-defence, he added. Coroner Nicola Mundy will deliver her verdict tomorrow.