THREE people have been found guilty of murdering a 34-year-old man who tried to calm down a fight in Hull on New Year’s Day.
Steven Herbert, described as a “loving family man”, died after a sustained attack in the early hours of January 1, this year on Trafalgar Street in the city.
Samuel Jordan, Soul Humphries and Tiffany Clark were all found guilty of his murder after a trial at Hull Crown Court. They have been remanded in custody until sentencing in August.
Earlier in the trial, the court heard that Mr Herbert was battered to death when he tried to step in to calm an altercation.
Mr Herbert was “helpless and prone” after being knocked out cold by one of two male attackers when Clark was seen to straddle and “gratuitously” punch him and kick him in the head.
The jury was told that Mr Herbert was part of a group of six who left The Yorkshireman pub in Hull at around 5.30am intending to continue celebrating at an address on Beverley Road.
They did not know each other and assembled in a loose group at the junction with Trafalgar Street, running into the three defendants, Clark, 23, of Victor Street, Humphries, 22, of Rawcliffe Grove, and Jordan, 22, of Yarmouth Avenue, and a fourth person who had been at a different pub.
Opening the case for the prosecution, Andrew Robertson QC said it was a “fast-moving, violent incident” and everybody had been drinking.
The jury was told the confrontation began when Humphries, identified by witnesses as the “angry-looking male”, and Jordan went up to one of the group near Mr Herbert, Craig Monroe, and said something abusive. Worried he was going to be hit, Mr Monroe ran off.
Mr Robertson said Humphries then punched another of the witnesses in the face, adding: “It may be at this stage that Mr Herbert tried to calm matters down, but for his trouble Humphries then attacked him, punching him to the head and face, and Jordan, his co-accused, joined in.”
Mr Herbert tried to defend himself and managed to push or punch Humphries to the ground, but Humphries then got up and resumed the attack with Jordan joining in, he said.
“Humphries then landed a punch on Steven Herbert which knocked him to the ground and left Mr Herbert out cold,” said Mr Robertson.
At this point, he said Clark, who up until then had been encouraging the assailants, joined in the attack herself.
Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Matthew Baldwin, of Humberside Police, said: “This was a completely unnecessary and unprovoked attack on an innocent member of the public.
“People need to realise that this is the sort of consequence when groups go around inflicting violence on people.
“Some people get up and walk away and others, including Steven Herbert, a loving family man, do not. The investigation was a complicated one from the outset because no CCTV was available of the actual attack and so it was quite an old-fashioned sort of inquiry, relying on the evidence of witnesses who were out that night enjoying New Year’s Eve celebrations.
“The three offenders made off from the scene, leaving Steven unconscious in the street where he was tended to by members of the public who provided first aid and tried to save his life.
“People should be able to walk around the streets of Hull at any time of the day or night, without the fear of this sort of violence being inflicted on them.”