World Cup fan denies killing drinker in fracas outside pub

A MAN died after he was punched outside a pub in Yorkshire, fracturing his skull as he hit the ground, following England's first World Cup match last year, a court heard.

A jury at Leeds Crown Court was shown CCTV footage yesterday of Robert Wilson, 44, falling to the road after he was struck a single blow by Christopher Perry outside the Skyrack in Headingley, Leeds, on June 12.

Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said Mr Wilson hit his head hard on the road and was lying there when Perry got into a car and was driven away. Mr Wilson was taken to hospital where a skull fracture and brain injury were found. He lapsed into unconsciousness and died 11 days later.

Perry, 25, of Shadwell Walk, Moortown, Leeds, denies the manslaughter of Mr Wilson, of West Park, Leeds.

The incident happened after Perry watched England's draw with the United States on screens at the Headingley ground before joining friends in the Skyrack.

Mr Sharp said as Perry and his group were leaving through the beer garden there was a short scuffle involving some of them.

Most of those present ignored what had happened, but he said sadly the one person who did not was Mr Wilson who began shouting at Perry things like: "Bring it on" and "Let's finish this".

Mr Sharp told the jury that they might conclude from Mr Wilson's behaviour that he had taken "a fair bit to drink that evening and also may have used other drugs that night".

Other people present were telling Mr Wilson to calm down, but he began to move towards the group who by then had crossed the road outside.

"However annoying Mr Wilson was, however aggravating Mr Wilson was, however angry Mr Wilson was, that was no reason or excuse for what happened next," said Mr Sharp.

Perry was captured by cameras as he turned back towards Mr Wilson and punched him once before returning to his friend's car, which drove away in spite of others trying to stop it.

After his subsequent arrest later in June, he claimed to police in a prepared statement that he had acted in self-defence.

He said he thought Mr Wilson was going to attack him, so hit him first.

But Mr Sharp said: "It was not self-defence, it was a straightforward assault, an unlawful act which caused Mr Wilson's death."

He claimed Perry had been some distance away from Mr Wilson, and added: "If Mr Perry felt threatened by Mr Wilson, all he had to do was to get into the car and drive off.

"Instead he turned towards Mr Wilson, waited for a car to pass, crossed over and delivered a hard punch.

"We suggest to punch a 44-year-old man hard when he's had some drink it would be obvious what might happen."

The trial continues.