Teenage witness describes attack on manslaughter victim

First published in News

A TEENAGE witness has described how a Halesowen defendant accused of manslaughter pulled another attacker off the victim.

A teenage boy has described the moment he claims an old friend delivered a knock-out punch which killed Nigel Shakespeare while on a night out.

The 17-year-old said he had been walking home from the Kings Arms pub in St George's, Redditch, on February 23 last year where he had seen Nigel Shakespeare and his partner Jacqueline Cull on a night out.

He saw the couple again with a group of his friends, who he had been celebrating with earlier that night for a mutual friend's birthday.

Among the group were Adam Haylor and Halesowen's Colin Mahon, both 18, and another 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

All three are charged with the manslaughter of Mr Shakespeare.

The boy said he had seen the 17-year-old, from Telford, struggle with Mr Shakespeare in Sillins Avenue, after Haylor shouted an abusive word at the couple.

"Nigel was trying to push past [the 17-year-old] but he was stumbling backwards a bit," he told the jury at Worcester Crown Court.

"Then I saw the punch. It was with his right fist, hitting Nigel on the left side of his face.

"Nigel spun round and fell backwards into the road. He was unconscious."

He said he saw Haylor, of Astley Close, Redditch, walking towards Mr Shakespeare, but said Mahon, of Albert Road, Halesowen, pulled him away.

But Haylor walked back and stamped on Mr Shakespeare's head, the boy said, before Mahon pulled him away again and they both ran off.

As far as he had seen, he said, Mr Shakespeare had not thrown any punches himself.

The boy said he and the friend he had been walking with stayed with Miss Cull as she cradled Mr Shakespeare.

They flagged down a police car and called paramedics - but the jury have heard Mr Shakespeare was already dying, having suffered a fractured skull and a brain bleed. He passed away that afternoon.

Haylor faces a second charge of assault causing actual bodily harm, which he also denies.

The trial continues.

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