Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Gary Stacey death: Law student 'killed man with one punch'

Gary Stacey Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Gary Stacey died from "overwhelming" head injuries in hospital

A law student killed a father-of-10 with one punch while on a night out on the Isle of Wight, a court has heard.

Gary Stacey, 49, died from brain injuries after being hit in a street in Newport in February 2016.

Ryan Cooper, 21, has gone on trial at Winchester Crown Court charged with manslaughter. He denies the charge.

Prosecutors said there was "no dispute" that Mr Cooper had thrown the punch, which he insisted was in self defence.

The opening day of the trial was told Mr Cooper of Alma Road, in Southampton had recently split up from his girlfriend when he was on a night out with friends on the island on Valentine's Day 2016.

The prosecution's opening statement told of how he had posted on Facebook about taking "the biggest line of cocaine" as well as "half a litre of vodka".

During the evening Mr Cooper was thrown out of Yates bar for being too drunk.

Image caption Ryan Cooper is on trial at Winchester Crown Court charged with manslaughter

Shortly before 04:00 GMT in St James Street, Mr Cooper and his friends were approached by Mr Stacey with whom they had had some contact with earlier in the evening

The jury was shown CCTV footage of the moment Mr Cooper threw two punches. The first missed Mr Stacey and the second did not.

Mr Stacey died later from "overwhelming" head injuries in hospital.

The court heard Mr Cooper later told friends that Mr Stacey had threatened him and was swearing and shouting.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Gary Stacey suffered fatal head injuries when he was assaulted on the Isle of Wight

Jurors were told, that in police interviews, Mr Cooper said he had hit Mr Stacey in self defence.

"He looked like he was going to hit me... so I just jabbed him to get him away," he said.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

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