Man on trial for the murder of 40-year-old in Great Yarmouth

Bricklayers Arms pub on Nelson Road Central and Victoria Road in Great Yarmouth.Ian Church died foll

Bricklayers Arms pub on Nelson Road Central and Victoria Road in Great Yarmouth.Ian Church died following an attack in May 2012 close to the pub. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013

A father has gone on trial for the murder of a 40-year-old man who was kicked to death outside a pub.

Stuart Layden, 33, appeared before a Norwich Crown Court jury yesterday following the death of Ian Church in 2012.

He was found unconscious outside the Bricklayers Arms in Great Yarmouth on May 5 after being attacked by a group of people.

The court heard how the shop worker suffered a brain injury from multiple blunt force blows, including kicks to the head.

Layden, a father of three, from The Briars, in Harlow, Essex, has been charged with his murder.

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Prosecutor Annabel Darlow said three other people, Todd Esherwood, Tony Smith and Kelly Taylor had previously been convicted of Mr Church's murder.

'The Crown's case is that Mr Layden was part of that joint enterprise to attack Mr Church,' she said. 'And therefore must bear equal responsibility for his death.'

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She said Layden had been with a large group of people out drinking in the town on May 4, 2012.

But trouble started in the early hours of May 5 when they arrived at the Bricklayers Arms.

The court heard how Esherwood got into an altercation with Mr Church's friend Peter Blake and then punched him.

Miss Darlow said the punch was the 'catalyst' for things to come later that night.

She told the jury that Mr Blake left the pub before returning later with Mr Church, armed with a machete and a long wooden bar.

'They made the rash decision, no doubt influenced by excessive consumption of alcohol, to return to the pub having armed themselves,' Miss Darlow said.

The court heard how the pair started smashing the pub's windows, resulting in Layden's group going outside to confront them.

After Mr Blake was knocked to the ground, the group surrounded Mr Church, who was still holding a machete, and proceeded to attack him said Miss Darlow.

She said a witness described seeing Layden punch Mr Church in the back of his head.

Following the attack, the victim suffered a cardiac arrest and died two days later on May 7.

The trial continues.

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