THE death of mum-of-three came after a series of assaults which stemmed from a “minor misunderstanding” over a play fight, a court heard.

Michelle Cooper and her daughter, Elise, from Jaywick, attended a leaving party at the house of defendant Demi Cole in Beach Way, Jaywick, on April 23.

Wayne Cleaver, prosecuting, said the “gratuitous” and alcohol-fuelled attacks took place following a misunderstanding over a “perfectly innocent” play fight between Ben Kelly and Kelly Cooper in the kitchen of the property.

His actions were misinterpreted by some of those at the party, who believed it to be more serious.

It is alleged Bobby Nethercott, Charlie Whittaker and Jordan Stanley attacked Mr Kelly in the house before following him outside to continue the assault, during which he suffered minor injuries.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard that Michelle’s nephew Alfie Griggs tried to intervene, but he was also attacked, suffering facial injuries and having his Gucci bag taken.

Michelle and Elise, who had also left the party, attempted to intervene to stop the attack on Mr Griggs, but they were then assaulted, alongside Louise Cooper.

Michelle was left prone and unconscious in the gutter after being punched, it is claimed.

She came to while being treated by pandemics but again became unresponsive - following which she never regained consciousness.

She was admitted to the critical care unit at Colchester Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on April 25.

The cause of her death was recorded as a blunt force head injury.

Mr Cleaver said: “A minor misunderstanding at the house sparked quite wanton violence, which in turn spiralled along the street leading to attacks on others and finally a group attack on Michelle Cooper.

“She was punched by rain jacket man, who we say is Mr Whittaker, and was then punched more severely by grey top man, we say that’s is Mr Nethercott, which took her to the ground.

“While on ground she was punched, kicked and stamped on by other members of the group, including Miss Cole and Mr Stanley.

“The prosecution say this group was quite clearly acting together.

“The injuries inflicted upon Michelle ultimately lead to her death.”

The trial continues.

  • Bobby Nethercott, 31, of Park Square East, Jaywick, Demi Cole, 21, of Beach Way, Jaywick, Charlie Whittaker, 24, of Bemerton Gardens, Kirby Cross, and Jordan Stanley, 20, of Masterman Road, London, each deny a joint charge of murder. Nethercott, Whittaker and Stanley also deny two charges of assault causing actual bodily harm. Nethercott denies two separate charges of assault causing actual bodily harm, while Cole has admitted assaulting Elise Cooper.