A MAN accused of manslaughter told a court he never wanted trouble and had never been in a fight before a man suffered fatal brain injuries outside a bar.

Dennie Griffiths, 27, of Hermitage Drive, Laindon, took to the witness box yesterday at Basildon Crown Court, telling the jury he feared for his safety in the incident.

Matthew Bion 31, from Wickford, died of injuries sustained on August 18, 2019 following the altercation outside Reids bar in Laindon Road, Billericay at 1.15am.

Griffiths, 27, of Hermitage Drive, Laindon, denies one count of manslaughter, while girlfriend Jade Chambers, 24, also of Hermitage Drive, denies assisting an offender.

Speaking in court, Griffiths said: “Two men were standing across the road and were shouting something like ‘I’m going to kick off and want a row’ and my mate shouted something like ‘I’ll have a row with you.’ “Then there was a fight with girls from our group and another group.

“I was never looking for a fight and have never had one before either.


“Then there were three men around me and someone swore at me and they were getting closer. I felt I couldn’t do anything and feared for my safety. I reached out with my left hand in an upwards motion to push back Mr Bion.

“I did not intent to strike him and just wanted to push him away, I was scared and felt there was no route to escape.

“I didn’t see him hit the ground and I ran away and hid in a bush and I didn’t know he was seriously injured.”



He told the court he hid for between 30 minutes and an hour before calling a taxi after leaving his girlfriend who was in the fight behind.

He also said he suffered a bowel condition as a child which led to him being on medication and this stunted his growth. It was claimed that this led to him being “singled out a lot” at school and at work.

The jury was told how Mr Bion has a previous conviction for drink driving back in February 2017 after he crashed into a road barrier in Kent at about 9am.

The trial heard a second car was damaged by debris in the incident.

The trial continues.