Court: Man denies one punch revenge killing

A man accused of carrying out a one-punch killing of a work colleague denied in court that he had attacked the man in order to teach him a lesson for making fun of him.

Wednesday, 1st July 2015, 6:16 pm
Leeds combined court centre.

Phillip Patrick Begley, 44, of Wellington Road, Bridlington, is on trial charged with assault causing actually bodily harm and manslaughter at Leeds Crown Court.

The jury has heard that Paul Morrison, 51, from Burton Leonard, and his friend Peter Bell, 43, from York arranged to meet a group of men, most of whom knew one another from road maintenance company, Ringway, for drinks in Harrogate on November 1 last year.

The group then headed to the Wetherspoons in Parliament Street.

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The prosecution claims there was the usual “good- humoured exchanges” between the men and a “bit of harmless fun.”

When inside the Winter Gardens Pub, the jury heard, Mr Morrison pushed Begley to the floor in “horseplay”.

Later Mr Morrison and Mr Bell were having a cigarette in the beer garden when Begley approached the pair.

The court has heard there was an exchange of banter’ after which Begley punched Mr Morrison hard in the face, causing him to fall backwards and hit his head on the base of a pillar.

Mr Bell asked ‘What do you think you are doing?’ before Begley punched him, too, in the face.

Begley gave evidence at the trial in which he described how he threw punches at the two men because he felt intimidated by them and feared he would be attacked.

During cross-examination, prosecution barrister Nicholas Askins asked Begley: “Were you in fact angry about Paul Morrison knocking you to the floor?

Begley replied: “No”

Mr Askins continued: “Did you go looking for him in the smoking area.” He replied: “No, not at all.”

The prosecutor then asked: “You intended to teach him a lesson didn’t you?”

Begley answered: “No, not at all.”

Mr Morrison died three weeks later on November 20.

The case continues.