Self-defence claim of man accused of murdering father

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A MAN jointly accused of beating a father to death in the street claimed he was acting in self-defence when he felled him to the ground with a single punch.

But Soul Humphries told Hull Crown Court he “couldn’t explain” other injuries Steven Herbert suffered to his face.

Mr Herbert died after he was attacked on Beverley Road, Hull, in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

Humphries was accused of “lying to save his own skin” and protecting the two other defendants, Tiffany Clark, 23, and Samuel Jordan, 22, by prosecutor Andrew Robertson QC who said: “If you are telling the truth how can you explain these blunt force injuries to the area of the mouth and nose?”

Humphries – who swore he was telling the truth “on his mother’s life” – replied: “I can’t explain them, all I know it wasn’t me.”

Humphries, 22, of Rawcliffe Grove, and Jordan, 22, of Yarmouth Avenue, and Clark, 23, of Victor Street, all Hull, deny murder.

Humphries claimed the confrontation began when a member of the group with Mr Herbert, Craig Monroe, came over and accused him of destroying his flat and spat in his face. Humphries gave chase but couldn’t catch up and returned to the group.

One of them Ryan Russell asked him what his problem was and Humphries pushed him in the chest, because he felt “negative energy off him”.

Mr Russell told the court last week he had been punched on the cheek.

Humphries claimed Herbert, who was twice his bodyweight and six inches taller, then said: “If you want to fight, fight with me”, and that he felt intimidated. He said Mr Herbert started to approach him and he ended up on the floor. “All I could think was I was going to get beaten up.” When he scrambled up Mr Herbert was within striking distance and he kicked him with his leg and punched him in the side of the face “in one continuos movement.”

“Do you accept that your punch caused him to fall?” asked defence counsel William Harbage QC. Humphries said: “yes”. “But you didn’t see that?” “No”, replied Humphries. “When you punched him did you intend to kill him?” “No”, said Humphries.

Humphries said he was “absolutely gutted” to later hear he had died.

But Mr Robertson said he had time after finding out he was dead “to think up a lot of lies to try and persuade the world and your mother that you were innocent.”

The hearing continues.