08 Oct Man denies any involvement in death of Great Yarmouth man
A man denied he played any part in an attack on a 40 year-old man who was kicked to death in Great Yarmouth.
Ian Church was found unconscious outside the Bricklayers Arms on May 5, 2012, having been attacked by a group of people in the early hours of the morning.
He suffered a bleed to the brain and died two days later after his life support machine was switched off.
Norwich Crown Court heard how trouble flared after Mr Church and his friend Peter Blake armed themselves with a pole and a machete and smashed windows at the pub, following an earlier dispute involving Mr Blake.
The court heard that Stuart Layden is alleged to have punched the victim in the back of the head before the others started attacking him outside the pub.
Layden, 33, from Harlow, Essex, has denied murder and giving evidence in his defence, he told a jury that he played no part in the attack and said he had no idea how serious the assault had been on Mr Church.
The court has heard that Todd Esherwood, Tony Smith and Kelly Taylor have already been convicted of the murder but Layden was now being retried for the offence.
Asked by his barrister Graham Parkins if he played any part in the attack, Layden replied: “No, none, whatsoever.”
His said his partner Louise White, hated violence of any kind and said: “She would not want me to be involved in any way.”
He said everyone in the pub had wondered what was happening when the windows were smashed and he had seen a man with a machete trying to get into the pub.
“Initially there was a lot of panic . I was scared myself.”
He said when a group from the pub went outside to see what was happening he had tried to stop Tony Smith chasing after Mr Blake.
He had then returned to the pub he saw Esherwood walking away from Mr Church, who was on the floor.
Layden saw someone trying to help Mr Church and he went up and asked if Mr Church was ok.
He denied he had thrown any punch at Mr Church.
Asked if he had any idea how serious the assault on Mr Church had been, Layden replied: “No.”
He added: “I did not want anything to do with what had gone on that night.”
The trial continues.
This article was provided by Great Yarmouth Mercury. http://www.greatyarmouthmercury.co.uk/