Semi-naked '˜enraged' reveller killed by single punch

Jurors have heard how a businessman died from catastrophic skull injuries from striking his head on the pavement after he was punched.

Wednesday, 4th January 2017, 2:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 3:50 am

Peter Anthony Honeyman, 20, of Heyhouses Lane, St Annes, denies the manslaughter of Jonathon Plum after the incident in the early hours of July 24 on Wood Street, St Annes.

Preston Crown Court heard there was no question that Honeyman killed Mr Plum, who ran a series of companies based at the Squires Gate Business Park, Blackpool – but the issue was whether he killed him unlawfully.

Prosecuting, Frances McEntee described how the victim had been dining and drinking with friends in St Annes on July 23, but had become “ loud and rude” whilst in Jack’s Bistro and had called a lady on another table a “brass” – a slang term for a prostitute.

He said: “While sitting on an outdoor terrace in company with his wife and friend, Mr Plum had managed to upset another group of customers by making unwarranted comments about a lady in their group.

“You will see a CCTV recording of the incident in which one of the other customers, Daniel Rawcliffe, took exception to Mr Plum’s behaviour and appears to threaten him; the evidence of this confrontation will help to explain, though in no sense excuse, why Mr Plum was ultimately seen in Wood Street, enraged and stripped to the waist in, what we will invite you to conclude, was a display of drunken machismo.”

CCTV footage shows the confrontation in Jack’s Bistro, Mr Rawcliffe being ushered away, and Mr Plum following him issuing threats.

Mr Rawcliffe’s group had no further contact with Mr Plum, but on Wood Street Plum encountered Honeyman and a group of his friends, who were near the Shillaylee pub.

CCTV footage shows Honeyman initially ran away, and Mr Plum can be seen pacing as his wife tries to calm him.

At 12.52am Mr Plum turned away from Honeyman and his friends and walks away but after he had taken four or five steps Honeyman ran up to him, hitting his head and knocking him over.

Mr Plum, who lived with his wife and family in a £450,000 seafront home on Sandgate, St Annes, died in the Royal Preston Hospital 32 hours later.

Honeyman’s case is that he was acting in self defence of another person, stating when Plum had turned to walk away he had feared for the women.

But the prosecution argue Mr Plum was assaulted from behind.

Mr McEntee added: “ One of the great paradoxes of such drunken violence is that some individuals can received a sustained assault suffering punches and kicks, and yet they may dust themselves off and walk away relatively unscathed.

“In other cases a single blow can cause devastating consequences.”