‘Gut­ted’ over man’s death

Glamorgan Gazette - - Front Page - LIZ DAY liz.day@waleson­line.co.uk

A DOOR­MAN ac­cused of un­law­fully killing a dad-of-one with a sin­gle punch in a car park said he was “gut­ted” when he found out he had died.

A DOOR­MAN ac­cused of un­law­fully killing a dadof-one with a sin­gle punch in a car park said he was “gut­ted” when he found out he had died.

Jef­frey Shep­herd ac­cepts punch­ing 24-year-old Gavin Rees but de­nies man­slaugh­ter on the grounds he was act­ing in law­ful self-de­fence and he is on trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

The court has heard the in­ci­dent hap­pened in a car park near Maesteg Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal in Neath Road at around 5pm on Au­gust 30 last year.

On Mon­day, the de­fen­dant’s bar­ris­ter David Elias QC said: “Gavin Rees passed away on Septem­ber 20 [last year]. Do you re­mem­ber when you found out he had passed away?”

Shep­herd said he did. Mr Elias added: “How did you feel when you heard that was the case?”

The de­fen­dant replied: “I was gut­ted.”

Giv­ing ev­i­dence from the wit­ness box, Shep­herd said he was in the po­lice sta­tion when he found out Mr Rees was “in a bad way”.

Asked how that made him feel, he re­sponded: “Bad.”

The court heard Shep­herd gave a pre­pared state­ment to po­lice say­ing he felt threat­ened as he be­lieved Mr Rees was about to hit him, so hit him first in self-de­fence.

Mr Elias asked why he then an­swered “no com­ment” to the ques­tions put to him by of­fi­cers.

The de­fence bar­ris­ter asked: “Did you feel any need to give any fur­ther ac­count about what had hap­pened in the car park?”

Shep­herd said he did not, adding: “No, be­cause I had told the truth.”

Asked why he did not an­swered ques­tions about his mo­bile phone, he said: “I did not think it was im­por­tant.”

Dur­ing cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, prose­cu­tor Michael Jones QC asked why Shep- herd did not go straight to the po­lice to give his ac­count of events.

The de­fen­dant replied: “I did not think it was that bad.”

He said his friend told him Mr Rees had been in­volved in a col­li­sion on his mo­tor­bike two days be­fore the punch.

Mr Jones asked why he did not go to the po­lice when he found out Mr Rees was in hos­pi­tal and he replied: “I thought the punch had not done that. It was the bike crash two days be­fore.”

He added: “I thought he would be OK.”

The prose­cu­tor asked: “Is it be­cause you knew what you did to him? You knew you punched him un­law­fully and left him on the floor un­con­scious. That is why you hid from the po­lice?”

Shep­herd said he handed him­self in once he knew the po­lice were look­ing for him.

Ques­tioned about his height and weight, the de­fen­dant said he was about 5ft 10in tall and weighed about 14st 10lb at the time, agree­ing he was “quite a big build”.

Mr Jones asked about his ex­pe­ri­ence of box­ing and Shep­herd replied: “I do not box.”

He told the court he went to the gym five times a week and ac­cepted he had done some box­ing ses­sions “for the fit­ness side”. The court heard he had worked as a door­man at venues in Brid­gend for 14 years.

Mr Jones said: “You punched him [Mr Rees] gra­tu­itously? On the sly?”

Shep­herd said that was not the case.

On Thurs­day, Mr Rees’ fa­ther de­scribed the “trau­matic” mo­ment he found his son ly­ing un­con­scious on the ground.

Michael Rees went to the car park af­ter re­ceiv­ing a call from a friend telling him his son had been knocked out.

Mr Rees said his son had worked in the scaf­fold­ing in­dus­try since he was 16 and they ran a scaf­fold­ing busi­ness to­gether.

Asked about the scene of the in­ci­dent, he said: “Ev­ery­one was speak­ing to­gether. It was a very chaotic scene, as you can imag­ine. It was very trau­matic.”

Shep­herd, 45, who was re­ported to re­side at Dros Col in Llan­harry but has since been con­firmed to re­side at Pen Llys Deri in Llan­harry, de­nies man­slaugh­ter.

The trial con­tin­ues.

Jef­frey Shep­herd, aged 45, de­nies man­slaugh­ter

Gavin Rees

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.