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Man felt ‘dreadful’ after broken wing mirror fight which led to teen’s death, court hears

PUBLISHED: 14:31 06 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:32 06 March 2020

Reece Hornibrook (pictured). Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Reece Hornibrook (pictured). Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Constabulary

A man accused of killing a King’s Lynn teenager with a single punch after an argument over a broken wing mirror said he felt “dreadful” about what happened.

Reece Hornibrook, 17, died two days after he suffered serious head injuries in an assault in Saddlebow Road, King's Lynn, in the early hours of July 7 last year.

Norwich Crown Court heard the wing mirror of Liam Russell's BMW was damaged by one of Mr Hornibrook's friends and Russell became involved in a scuffle with the teen, who was walking back from a party.

During the confrontation Russell threw a single punch at Mr Hornibrook, who fell to the ground, hit the kerb and suffered a fatal head injury.

Russell, 32, formerly of Metcalf Avenue, Lynn, has denied manslaughter.

Giving evidence on Friday, Russell claimed he acted in self-defence and said he kept telling Mr Hornibrook he did not want a fight.

He said he returned from a night out to find his wife in her dressing gown arguing with the youths over the damage to his car.

Russell said he tried to get them away from his home and pushed Mr Hornibrook away, but said Mr Hornibrook had come up to his face and the two became involved in a scuffle in the road.

He told the court: "I wanted to know who had done the damage and had not wanted a fight."

He said after the scuffle he had tried to walk away but was warned that Mr Hornibrook was approaching him again.

"I thought I was about to be struck because of how quickly he got up and came to my left-hand side. He had both his hands clenched together."

He said he inflicted a single punch which sent Mr Hornibrook to the ground, but immediately called for help when they could see he was injured.

He said his wife, who is a hospital worker, had gone to Mr Hornibrook's aid and police and ambulance were soon on the scene.

Asked by his barrister William Carter if he had wanted to cause really serious injury to Mr Hornibrook, he replied: "No."

When asked how he felt about what happened he replied: "Dreadful."

Russell denied he acted in anger after seeing damage caused to his BMW which he worked hard for.

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