A TOY-BOY accused of murdering his lover’s husband by beating him to death in the street in North Yorkshire cried in the witness box and said he was “devastated” for his victim and his family.
Cohnor Coleman, 24, repeatedly punched former golf pro Andrew Jackson, 43, during an evening when his victim’s wife Sarah, 38, was also out in Richmond.
Coleman had been asked to leave the Cavern bar after he had a confrontation with another man after watching Mrs Jackson get close with him.
The previous week, he was caught on camera punching a pillar and hitting a door after he saw her kissing another man in the bar, Teesside Crown Court has heard.
After he was arrested, Coleman told police he felt like a “mug”, an “idiot” and had been used by the woman, with whom he thought he was having a serious relationship.
He has admitted manslaughter but denies murdering Mr Jackson, who died two days after the attack in April.
In a grey suit and tie, Coleman broke down as he told the jury: “I was devastated for Andrew, I was devastated for his family.”
Cairns Nelson QC, defending, asked: “Do you accept you have done wrong.”
The defendant replied: “I do yes. I regret what I have done. I should never have thrown a punch.”
Coleman, who worked as a home help in Hebburn, South Tyneside, before joining a Leyburn haulier as a shotblaster and spray painter, said the Jacksons were family friends and he had a “secret crush” on Sarah when he was growing up.
He told the jury he had been having an affair with her for “roughly three weeks”, and the relationship was sexual.
They started with “flirty banter” and played badminton together, but he soon felt serious about her.
“She told me I was hers and she was mine,” he told the court. “Every time we had spare time we would try to meet up with each other.”
He claimed Mrs Jackson, a mother-of-two, had told him she was divorced from her husband and they were living together for financial reasons.
Coleman said: “We had a few conversations about moving in together.”
He added: “I felt for the woman, I was serious about her.”
Mr Nelson asked him how he felt about Mr Jackson.
Coleman replied: “I never had a problem with the man, I thought the marriage was finished. I thought they were divorced.”
He saw Mr Jackson in Richmond earlier on the night of the fatal attack and said there was no animosity and the two reminisced.
“He was meaning something along the lines of he had seen us grow up from a young age to a responsible adult,” Coleman said.
He did admit going up to Mrs Jackson in the Cavern when he saw her getting close to a man and telling her “this is getting a bit close for comfort”.
As the two squared up, Coleman was told to leave and Mrs Jackson followed him into the street.
Soon after Mr Jackson also left and he was fatally attacked close to the Georgian Theatre.
Coleman said his memories were “sketchy” but he remembered Mr Jackson confronting him and “his hands were in my face”.
Asked if any words were used, Coleman claimed Mr Jackson said: “Who the f*** do you think you are?”
He remembered being “pushed and pulled about” and he recalled throwing a punch.
Witnesses have told the jury Coleman landed several forceful blows to Mr Jackson’s head as he lay on the ground.
In cross-examination, Paul Mitchell, prosecuting, asked Coleman about him only crying during his police interviews when he spoke about how Mrs Jackson had made him feel when he saw her with another man in the bar.
Coleman said: “I was upset. I was upset for what she had done and the way she behaved.”
Mr Mitchell said: “She made you feel like a mug, like an idiot, like you had been used, that’s at the heart of this, isn’t it?”
Coleman replied: “I was upset with the woman. She told me I was her partner, I fell for the woman.
“I thought she was being true to me. I was hurt for the way she was behaving.”
Mr Mitchell said Coleman attacked Mr Jackson because he was humiliated, belittled and furious, and because Mr Jackson “kept getting in the way”.
He replied: “I had no issue with Andrew.”
Coleman, of Cookson Way, Brough with St Giles, near Catterick, denies murder.
The case continues.