A MAN accused killing a father who fractured his skull following an altercation on a night out said he threw a punch in self defence after a stranger “took up a boxing stance”.

Brodie Groome, 27, launched a punch after a confrontation in Vineyard Street car park, in Colchester, in August last year.

Steven Warburton was struck and fell to the ground, suffering a fractured skull when his head hit the floor.

He died weeks later in hospital following a cardiac arrest which medical experts concluded was a direct result of the brain injury he sustained after being punched.

Groome, of Sydney Street, Brightlingsea, denies manslaughter.

A trial at Ipswich Crown Court heard Groome provided a prepared statement to the police after arrest before answering “no comment” to all questions asked.

The court heard in his statement, Groome said he was in Vineyard Street on August 19 as he and his friend were walking home.

He said his friend needed to stop to urinate, before a group of strangers started shouting at them.

Reading the statement, Groome’s barrister Craig Rush said: “I approached the group with my hands in the air, saying I didn’t want any trouble.”

Groome said one of the group punched his friend in the face and began to attack him.

He said when one of the men in the group “took up a boxing stance” he “defended himself” by lashing out with a single punch.

Reading out conclusions drawn by a forensic pathologist, Mr Rush said: “It was not possible to comment on any toxicological findings, though it is known that individuals who have consumed alcohol show diminished motor reflexes and are less likely to anticipate an impact and brace for a fall.”

During the course of the trial, the jury heard Mr Warburton had been celebrating his son’s wedding anniversary with his family on the night of the altercation.

The jury heard one of Groome’s friends aggressively approached Mr Warburton’s wife, Caroline.

An altercation ensued in which Mr Warburton’s daughter-in-law Olivia fell to the floor.

There was also a clash between Groome and Mr Warburton’s son Byron, who is an Army corporal, the court heard.

The jury was shown video footage of the incident taken by a witness on their phone, as well as CCTV footage from Vineyard Street car park and from town centre bars.

Groome is expected to give evidence in his defence this morning.

  • The trial continues.