A DRUNKEN victim died after being viciously punched and kicked to the head in a group attack on the city walls, a court heard.

Prosecutors told a jury at Chester Crown Court that Christopher Garwell, 23, from Connah’s Quay, died of his injuries in hospital six days after suffering a fractured skull and brain haemorrhages.

David Tushingham, 20, of Melbourne Road, Blacon, and Kieran Cunnah, 18, of Durham Road, Blacon, along with two 17-year-old males who cannot be named due to their age, all deny murder.

Michael Chambers QC, prosecuting, said: "There were repeated kicks and punches to the head and he was knocked to the ground and was in no state to defend himself.

"It was a vicious joint attack in which each played their part, whether by kicking, whether by punching or whether by encouraging the others."

Prior to the alleged assault on June 3, Mr Garwell, who was unemployed, had been in Grosvenor Park with his ‘friend and protector’ Scott Murphy, also from Connah’s Quay, where he had drunk most of a bottle of vodka, smoked cannabis and taken six ecstasy tablets on a hot sunny afternoon.

The pair joined a larger group from Blacon, including the four defendants, who were friends of Mr Murphy but did not know Mr Garwell.

After Mr Murphy left for home, it was said the accused took advantage of Mr Garwell’s intoxicated condition by robbing him of money and drugs in an initial assault at Charlotte Court, by the canal, which was interrupted by residents.

Tushingham and Cunnah remained with Mr Garwell as he went off along the nearby towpath, past Iceland, up a footpath and wooden steps on to the walls by King Charles’ Tower.

The other two defendants became separated but telephoned Cunnah in order to regroup.

All four were on the walls, with the victim leaning against the wall in a drunken state.

Initially, the court heard some of the defendants attempted to help Mr Garwell but turned on him after overhearing him make a call to his cousin, Emma Griffiths.

Mr Chambers said: "They then heard him saying ‘get the boys here, I’ve been banged’."

Two young women, Natalie Rigby and another witness who cannot be named, who had earlier been with the Blacon group, phoned Cunnah to rejoin them.

"On reaching the defendants, these girls witnessed the joint assault by these four defendants on Christopher Garwell that caused his death," added Mr Chambers.


Two defendants admit to having struck deceased

INTERVIEWED by police, David Tushingham initially denied all involvement in an assault but later admitted giving Garwell a slap to ‘sort his head out’ at Charlotte Court, said Michael Chambers QC, prosecuting.

Cunnah was said to have exercised his right to make no comment, but the prosecutor alleged DC Kevin Lee overheard him in the police station custody suite call one of his co-accused ‘a snake and a grass’.

He said Cunnah had been corresponding with a female prosecution witness, who had ‘a soft spot for him’ and can’t be named.

In a letter dated October 16, he appeared to be agreeing with what she said in her statement that he had kicked the deceased, causing him to drop to the floor.

One defendant, who can’t be named, denied all involvement. Another defendant who also can’t be named admitted punching the deceased twice on the walls.

Mr Chambers said there had been complications during Mr Garwell’s treatment at Liverpool’s Walton hospital – such as intracranial pressure, bronchial pneumonia and propofol infusion syndrome – but two doctors would give evidence to the effect that the primary cause of death was due to the head injury.

The court also heard from the deceased’s friend, Scott Murphy, formerly of Blacon, who said Mr Garwell was in a ‘good mood’ prior to the alleged attack but told him his girlfriend had lost a baby the day before.

He witnessed Mr Garwell smoking cannabis all day and swap some of his ‘weed’ for six ecstasy tablets, which he took ‘one after each other’ before starting to act ‘a bit weird’.

Mr Murphy had to go home to Connah’s Quay by a certain time but his friend refused to go with him. Mr Murphy later called Tushingham to ask after his friend and was told ‘one of the lads’ had hit Mr Garwell.

The case continues