Man accused of manslaughter says punch was self-defence

ipswich crown court

Brodie Groome is on trial at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

An Essex man accused of manslaughter claimed he’d thrown a single punch in self-defence after a punch was thrown at him, a court has heard.

In a prepared statement to police which was read to a jury at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday, September 27, Brodie Groome said he had been on his way home from a night out in Colchester with friends and a member of his group had been shouted after stopping to urinate.

Groome claimed a punch had been thrown at him and he had defended himself with a single punch.

Groome, 27, of Sydney Street, Brightlingsea, has denied manslaughter arising out of an alleged attack on 46-year-old Steven Warburton in Vineyard Street, Colchester, on August 19 last year.

Mr Warburton hit his head on the ground after allegedly being punched by Groome and died in hospital three weeks later.

The court has heard that Mr Warburton had been out drinking in Colchester with his wife Caroline, son Byron and daughter-in-law Olivia to celebrate Byron and Olivia’s first wedding anniversary.

Groome had been out in Colchester with a male friend and two women and they had also been drinking.

Most Read

The two groups met in the Vineyard Street car park just after midnight and there were conflicting accounts about how the violence that followed erupted, said Nicola May, prosecuting.

She said that on mobile phone footage recorded by a witness both groups were shouting at each other apart from Mr Warburton who was hanging around at the back of the group.

He could be seen pulling his son away and then picking his wife up off the ground after she fell over but wasn’t involved in the altercation, alleged Miss May.

Groome had then allegedly come over and Mrs Warburton saw her husband falling backwards and hitting the ground.

A witness later described Mr Warburton, who suffered a fractured skull and a brain injury, in the incident, as being “felled like a tree.”

As a result of an alleged single punch to his face by Groome, Mr Warburton’s head made such forceful contact with the ground that an audible crack could be heard, said Miss May. 

The trial continues.