AN AFTERNOON drinking with friends ended in tragedy after one ‘revenge’ punch killed a 51-year-old father, a court heard.
Phillip Patrick Begley, 44, of Wellington Road, Bridlington, is on trial charged with assault causing actually bodily harm and manslaughter at Leeds Crown Court.
The jury heard that Paul Morrison, 51, from Burton Leonard, and his friend Peter Bell, 43, from York arranged to meet a group of men, most of whom knew one another from road maintenance company, Ringway, for drinks in Harrogate on November 1 last year.
The group then headed to the Wetherspoons in Parliament Street.
Prosecuting, Nicholas Askins said: “There was the usual good- humoured exchanges between the men of the group, nothing but a bit of harmless fun.”
When inside the Winter Gardens Pub, the jury heard, Mr Morrison pushed Begley to the floor in ‘horseplay’.
Later Mr Morrison and Mr Bell were having a cigarette in the beer garden when Begley approached the pair.
The court heard there was an ‘exchange of banter’ after which Begley punched Mr Morrison hard in the face, causing him to fall backwards and hit his head on the base of a pillar.
When Mr Bell asked ‘What do you think you are doing?’, the court heard that Begley punched him, too, in the face.
Bystander, Joel Gadley said he had overheard Begley saying: “I used to be able to knock them out cold, don’t think I can do it these days,” before throwing the punches.
Mr Morrison died three weeks later on November 20. Mr Askins told the jury: “Begley had been left angry as a result of the horse play inside the pub and he took revenge.”
The case continues.