Jury shown CCTV footage of Chris Henchliffe being 'assaulted' in Chesterfield town centre

The jury in the trial of a young man accused of the manslaughter of Chris Henchliffe has been shown CCTV footage of the moment the former soldier was allegedly assaulted.

Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 8:24 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:53 pm
The trial is being heard at Nottingham Crown Court.

Benjamin Edwards, 22, is accused of unlawfully killing 26-year-old Mr Henchliffe, who passed away in hospital nine days after an incident outside the Pomegranate Theatre in Corporation Street, Chesterfield, during the early hours of July 3 last year.

Yesterday at Nottingham Crown Court, prosecuting solicitor Andrew Vout said Edwards, of Fieldview Place, Chesterfield, punched Mr Henchliffe in 'an act of aggression'.

Edwards denies manslaughter and argues he acted 'in reasonable defence of another person', the court heard.

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Chris Henchliffe. Picture submitted by family.

Today, Detective Constable Heather Saville, the officer in charge of the investigation, talked the jury through CCTV footage which, she said, showed Mr Henchliffe being 'assaulted' before a group of men, including Edwards, ran away from Corporation Street.

The court heard Mr Henchliffe was out with three women, including Tilly Mae-Hutton, in Moo Bar in Corporation Street on July 3.

Ms Mae-Hutton said a doorman asked Mr Henchliffe to leave the bar after spilling some drink over 'a short guy'.

Chris Henchliffe. Picture submitted by family.

"He just left," she added.

"He was merry but I wouldn't describe him as drunk."

Ms Mae-Hutton said she left the bar to try and find Mr Henchliffe.

She broke down in tears as she told how she saw him 'lying flat on his back' outside the Pomegranate Theatre.

Clarissa Wisternoff said she had been working for Moo Bar handing out leaflets during the early hours of July 3 and walked on the dance floor on her way to the staffroom at the end of her shift.

She said Mr Henchliffe spilled some drink which landed on her and added: "He was facing towards my direction with a pint glass.

"It was tilted and there was a little bit of drink in the glass."

Ms Wisternoff told the court she left the bar and saw her brother, James Wisternoff, who had been on a night out with Edwards, talking to Mr Henchliffe.

She said: "He (Mr Henchliffe) thought I was the reason he was kicked out of Moo Bar.

"I didn't say anything about him (spilling the drink) to anyone.

"Mr Henchliffe was really drunk and aggressive.

"My brother got in between us and he (Mr Henchliffe) leaned towards me and shouted, 'you're a lying b**h'.

"My brother pushed him away from me once and a doorman took James away from the situation.

"After that, I heard a thud on the floor.

"When I turned around, Mr Henchliffe was on the floor.

"I didn't see how he came to be on the floor because I was facing James and the doorman up the road."

Defence solicitor Adrian Langdale said CCTV footage showed Mr Henchliffe run 'with a raised first' towards two men - a Moo Bar doorman and Mr Wisternoff - before Edwards threw 'a single punch towards Mr Henchliffe'.

The trial continues.