Accused tells of 'sickening thud' in Wrexham manslaughter trial

Reporter:

Elwyn Roberts

A MAN has relived the moment his single punch sent his friend crashing to the ground with a ‘horrible sickening thud”.

Neil Edwards, 39, died from the blow delivered by Paul Humphreys during a row in the car park of the Acton pub in Wrexham last September.

Humphreys, 35, of Penrhyn Drive, Gwersyllt, denies manslaughter and told a jury he was devastated when he heard Neil Edwards’s head crack on the concrete.

He said he knew from the thud that Mr Edwards was going to be hurt.

Father of two Humphreys told a jury at Mold Crown Court that when he heard the crack, “a horrible sickening thud”, he thought “oh no”.

“I leaned over and asked him if he was okay. I knew he was bad.”

Humphreys insisted he was acting in self defence and claimed that Mr Edwards, who was out celebrating the birth of his son, had been going to strike him first.

Humphreys said: “I moved to the left, quick. It was just a reflex and I punched a straight line punch to his face.”

Asked by his barrister John McDermott, QC, why he had punched him, Humphreys said: “He was punching me. It was just a quick punch, just a reflex.

“There was no power in it. It was just a snap of a fist.

“I was surprised he fell backwards. I then heard the sound of his head hitting the ground.”

Humphreys told the jury he was not a boxer and had not boxed for 10 years, although he used to train and had two amateur fights when he was 21 and 26.

Humphreys said that he knew Neil Edwards’ brother, Wayne Edwards, from work at Airbus and regarded them both as friends.

He denied being the aggressor and said that Wayne Edwards “shot me down” and was “running me down for no reason” over the fact he had been made redundant and his marriage had broken up.

He said: “I had not intended to hit anybody. They were supposed to be my friends.”

Proceeding.

See full story in the Leader

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