England

Men jailed for throwing friend to death over wall in Exeter

Craig Melhuish and Colin Smith Image copyright Irving of Exeter
Image caption Craig Melhuish and Colin Smith waited two hours before calling an ambulance

Two men who hurled a friend to his death after accusing him of sleeping with one of their girlfriends have been jailed for seven years each.

Colin Smith, 34, and Craig Melhuish, 38, chased Joseph Wake and threw him over a 5ft wall on to a pavement.

Father-of-one Mr Wake, 29, suffered fatal head injuries in the fall on to Okehampton Street in Exeter.

Smith, of no fixed abode, and Melhuish, of Princes Square, Exeter, were both found guilty of manslaughter.

Stolen beer

Exeter Crown Court heard Mr Wake died in Derriford Hospital in Plymouth shortly after the attack last May.

Mr Wake had fled from a house in nearby Exwick Road after being confronted by the two men and accused of having an affair with Smith's girlfriend Natalie Male while he was serving a short jail sentence.

All three men had been drinking extra strength beer which Smith had stolen from a nearby shop.

The attackers chased Mr Wake across a grass bank and threw him head first over the wall, the jury heard.

They then took Mr Wake back to the house in Exwick Road, but left him for about two hours before calling an ambulance.

Det Insp Gregg Dawe said after the case: "Our thoughts go out to Joseph Wake's family following the guilty verdicts.

"This tragic incident has left them mourning a loving father and son."

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