“The trouble with little lies is that sometimes it’s very easy to forget which ones you have told.”
That is what defence barrister Martin Hurst told a 15-year-old boy giving evidence on Thursday at the trial into the death of Worksop man Glen Kitchens.
A 16-year-old, who can not be identified for legal reasons, is accused of manslaughter.
Earlier this week the court heard that Mr Kitchens was ‘knocked out’ by a teenager who threw a single punch at his face.
It followed an argument between Mr Kitchens and a gang of teenagers outside the Burton shop on Bridge Street and an earlier run-in on Ryton Street.
Two of the defendant’s friends were there when the punch was thrown and have said that he is the killer.
They both claim Mr Kitchens approached the boys who were sitting on a bench outside the shop at about 7.20pm.
“The same man who we saw earlier came walking down,” the second boy witness told Nottingham Crown Court.
“He said to one of my friends ‘You’re not so clever now are you, now my boys are here?’ and two men were walking up behind him.”
“He didn’t look steady on his feet. He looked like he’d been drinking. He went to kick my friend.”
The boy said his friend was sat on the bench when the confrontation happened and stood up just as the kick was aimed.
In fact, CCTV showed the boy’s friend on his feet with his arms held wide when Mr Kitchens approached. And there was no attempted kick.
“Mr Kitchens could not have kicked out at him as he was standing up could he?” Mr Hurst asked the boy.
He replied: “He must have... I thought he did.”
Said Mr Hurst: “You have told this graphic story of Mr Kitchens trying to kick him as he stood up, the same story your friend told the court yesterday. But the video proves it’s not true.”
“So we have to accept either your memory isn’t right or you are not telling the truth.”
The court heard that the boy had said in a police interview that one of the other boys had pushed Mr Kitchens before the defendant arrived on the scene.
But one thing both witnesses agree on is that they heard someone shout the defendant’s name before seeing him run from the direction of Ryton Street and punch Mr Kitchens.
Mr Hurst said: “I think it was someone else who hit him.”
“Why did you tell the police and the jury you went to The Canch?”
“We have traced your movements between arriving in town and the incident with Mr Kitchens and it was not physically impossible for you to have been at The Canch.”
The boy replied: “We did go there.”
Mr Hurst said: “You can keep repeating it because that’s the story you learned off by heart but we have got video of you.”
“This is all part of a story that you and others had got together and made up to try and keep yourselves and the girls out of it.”
While Mr Kitchens lay stricken on the floor the boys ran away down Central Avenue and turned right up the ramp and into the car park behind the Priory Centre.
Prosecuting, Philip Gibbs asked the 15-year-old: “How were you feeling at that moment?”
“Scared. I didn’t want to get involved,” said the boy.
Mr Gibbs added: “Were you involved?”
“No,” he replied.
The trial continues.