Pub death accused had 'no control' over punching victim

The Wine Lodge in Birkenhead

The Wine Lodge in Birkenhead

First published in News

A PRENTON man accused of killing a man in a Birkenhead pub told a jury that he regretted what he had done.

But 33-year-old John Burns said that he had felt like he had had “no control” over hitting Kenny Wylde.

A Liverpool Crown Court jury has heard that after he punched Mr Wylde following an argument over the victim spitting on the floor in the Wine Lodge in Birkenhead town centre.

Burns, of Aldford Road, has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Giving his evidence he said that on February 10, he had been drinking with friends in the Wine Lodge.

“It looked like he was listening to our conversation and wasn’t agreeing with what we were discussing, shaking his head and stuff like that.

“I think at the time there was a racist incident between Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra and we were discussing that.

“I didn’t realise what he was doing and then I realised he was spitting. That’s when I said 'don’t do that it’s not very nice'.

"I just said you wouldn’t do that at home. I wasn’t shouting at him. I said if you’re going to spit do it in the toilet or go outside that’s when he reacted to me and said 'do you want to go outside?'

“I just pointed to the fire exit and walked towards it. I planned to let him step through then close it. As I got right up to the fire exit I heard him say ‘I’ll f****** stab you’.

“I turned round and struck because I thought I was going to get stabbed.”

32-year-old Mr Wylde, who was described as ‘extremely drunk’ and was four times the legal drink-drive limit, fell and fractured his skull and died six days later.

Further questioned by his barrister Keith Sutton about how he felt, Burns, a 6ft 1ins factory worker, said: "Now, because of what I know, I regret doing it. But at the time I couldn’t control what I done. I was scared.”

It is alleged by the prosecution that Burns and his colleague Tony Clark, who had also been in the pub, had got together to "cook up" a defence that he attacked Mr Wylde because he had threatened to stab him.

"Did you enter into an agreement to lie about your defence and what happened?" asked Mr Sutton. "No," he replied.

Clark, 37, of Old Chester Road, Birkenhead, denies perverting the course of justice.

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