An unbearable wait has begun for a Worksop teen accused of manslaughter.
The jury of 12 who will decide the 16-year-old boy’s fate, has retired to consider its verdict.
The men and women left the court room just before 1pm today (Thursday 31st October 2013) after a comprehensive summing up of the facts in the case from judge Nigel Godsmark.
He told them: “It is your job to decide what did or didn’t happen - to assess the witnesses and their evidence, decide what you accept, what you reject, what you believe and what you do not.”
“The defendant remains innocent until proven guilty. Unless the prosecution can prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.”
He also gave them a definition of the charge - manslaughter.
“It is not murder. The real difference is that in a case of manslaughter no-one intends that anyone dies or suffers any serious injury,” said the judge.
“It involves an unlawful carried out by the defendant, that act must be unlafwul and dangerous in that it is likely to injure another person. And as a consequence, albeit unintentionally, that person dies.”
“The focus of this case is whether the defendant punched Glen Kitchens unlawfully.”
“Was it him who punched Glen Kitchens? If so, why?”
The judge went on to explain that if he did throw the punch, it must also be proved he did it unlawfully.
He said: “There are examples where a punch is lawful. For example, self defence or the defence of another.”
“It seems there was something of a conflict between Glen Kitchens and one of the defendant’s friends. If you decide he did punch Mr Kitchens, might it have been to defend his friend?”
But he went on to say that on such exceptions, only reasonable force was permitted.
“A person in the heat of the moment might not be able to tell what is proportionate action to defend another person,” he said.
“We have also heard evidence that the defendant had been drinking, although he said the effects were wearing off by 7pm to 7.15pm.”
“Suppose a person misreads a situation because they are drunk, so that they instinctively but mistakenly believe they need to defend someone else.”
“The law says you can not rely on that as an excuse but it is something you may need to consider.”
The trial continues.