TWO teenagers have been found guilty of killing a father of one fron Connah’s Quay who was beaten unconscious on the City Walls.
Kieran Cunnah, 18, and his co-accused Jordan Andrews, 17, were convicted of the manslaughter of Christopher Garwell at the end of a tense four-week trial at Chester Crown Court.
Sighs of relief rang out from the victim’s family as the jury of seven men and five women delivered their 10-2 majority verdicts just after 2.45pm yesterday following three days of deliberations.
Leaving the security flanked court room Mr Garwell’s mother Julie gave a statement to the Leader telling of her family’s heartbreak following her 23-year-old son’s death in which she told how “life will never be the same”.
Family members of the accused cried out as they left the court room.
Immediately after the verdict Mr Justice Nicol lifted an order allowing the identification of Andrews, who has remained anonymous throughout the trial, citing that Andrews’ conviction was a “significant offence”.
The court heard how Cunnah had previous convictions for theft, criminal damage, possessing cannabis, resisting a police officer and public order offences. Andrews had been convicted of using racially threatening and abusive behaviour and burglary.
Victim Christopher Garwell, father of two-year-old Millie, was set upon by Andrews and Cunnah after spending the day with them and others at Grosvenor Park, drinking and smoking cannabis before events turned sinister.
The trial heard how Mr Garwell suffered extensive skull fractures and severe brain haemorraghes as a result of his attack and died at Liverpool’s Walton Neurological Centre on June 9, six days after the attack.
The prosecution maintained Mr Garwell was the victim of a vicious joint attack.
Cunnah admitted to delivering two standing kicks to Mr Garwell. Andrews admitted he punched Mr Garwell twice to the head but denied throughout that he had punched the victim at the same time as Cunnah delivered his second kick.
Both men denied murder but were found guilty of manslaughter.
The trial heard eye witness accounts of the attack close to the King Charles Tower just before 7.30pm after which Mr Garwell was found collapsed close to a pool of vomit by two passing students.
Prosecuting, Michael Chambers told how Mr Garwell was set upon on the City Walls because he was not “one of the boys”. After Cunnah and Andrews had been involved in the robbery of Mr Garwell minutes earlier, both men set upon him on the City Walls after overhearing the victim claim to make a phone call stating “get the boys I have been banged”.
Mr Chambers said Mr Garwell was “taken advantage of” by the accused, because he “was not one of the boys”.
In evidence, Andrews said he had punched Mr Garwell because he had been “getting on my nerves”. Cunnah said he had acted in defence of Andrews who he thought was gong to get “banged out” by Mr Garwell.
The pair will be sentenced on Tuesday.