A MAN died after hitting the back of his head in a fall when he was punched to the ground, a court heard.

A jury heard Peter Wilmot, 41, died two days after he was found unconcious outside his former home in Hockley on February 1.

Neighbour Glen Cooper, 37, of Broad Walk, Hockley, denies manslaughter in connection with the incident, claiming he acted in selfdefence.

However, prosecutor Gerard Pounder has told Chelmsford Crown Court the amount of force used meant it was not self-defence.

He told the jury: “He says he was acting in self-defence, using reasonable force to defend himself.

“The prosecution says he could have walked away. He went completely over the top.”

The jury heard the pair had been arguing when Wilmot tried to visit his estranged wife, Stella, and their two children at their home.

Wilmot had been drinking and was seen by neighbours tapping on his ex’s windows and door.

He also kept setting off the alarm on a car parked on the drive as he moved backwards and forwards, trying to get in.

The court heard Cooper, who lived across the road, went out to go to work at 5am and spotted Wilmot.

He told him: “Leave Stella alone. You’ll wake the kids.”

Mr Pounder told the court the two men then argued.

Mr Wilmot was found unconscious by a passer-by just before 7am and taken to Southend Hospital.

He was later transferred to Queens Hospital, Romford, where he died on Monday, February 3.

The cause of death was a said to be a “severe and heavy impact to the back of his head”.

Mr Pounder told the court police checked Cooper’s phone and found a series of text messages.

One read: “Hooked the **** and he went down like a sack.”

Another said: “He gave me a gobfull and pushed me, so I hit him proper and he banged the back of his head.”

The trial continues.