A HOLIDAYMAKER has told an inquest he watched his friend run into the sea, pursued by a man throwing rocks, shortly before he drowned.
Danny Kelly, a father of two, was 23 when he disappeared last August, on the first day of his holiday on the Greek island of Zante.
His body was found floating off the coat by two German tourists in a pedalo the next day, an inquest in Bradford was told.
His friend, Martin Spencer, 30, said there had been an altercation at a club earlier in the evening, involving Mr Kelly and Nikola Miscevic, a Serbian national working as a bouncer.
Mr Spencer said he saw his friend running “full pelt” towards the sea, pursued by Mr Miscevic, who stopped as Mr Kelly swam away and “straight away started picking rocks up and throwing them”.
Mr Spencer described the rocks as “fist size”, but said he did not believe any of them hit Mr Kelly, whom he heard shouting from the water: “I haven’t done anything”.
The incident was captured on Mr Spencer’s mobile phone. He said: “He grabbed hold of me, punched me to the back of the head a couple of times, threw me to the floor and snatched the phone out of my hand.”
The inquest heard Mr Miscevic had given a different account of what happened, saying Mr Kelly had jumped into the sea of his own accord, from the second floor of the club. When staff took a boat out to pick him up, he was hauled in but jumped out again.
Mr Miscevic told police he had thrown “a few pebbles” near to Mr Kelly as he seemed confused, and he was trying to attract his attention. After his return to Serbia, he was convicted in his absence of assault and theft, and handed a suspended sentence.
Mr Kelly, a fabricator from Haworth, near Bradford, had died of drowning, the inquest heard. His younger daughter, who will be one in November, did not meet her father.
The inquest continues.