A LAWYER defending one of the accused in the city walls murder trial says the jury should find him guilty of manslaughter.
Patrick Harrington QC was addressing Chester Crown Court where Kieran Cunnah, 18, of Durham Road, Blacon, is jointly accused of the murder of Christopher Garwell, 23, of Connah’s Quay, along with a 17-year-old male who can’t be named. Both have denied the charge.
Mr Harrington accepted his client launched two standing kicks against Mr Garwell’s face causing him to fall to the floor and hit his head but his client was not trained in martial arts and was ‘no Jackie Chan’.
He concluded his closing speech: “I hope you agree with the realistic approach in this case. He’s done wrong but for the rest of his life he will have on his record a conviction for homicide – but homicide of which he is guilty of manslaughter.”
He referred to Mr Garwell’s call on his mobile phone ‘to get the boys down’ after he had apparently been robbed by a former defendant in the case which the prosecution says was the catalyst for the attack.
Mr Harrington continued: “Then tragedy ensues because of a couple of minor blows, because that’s what they were, which led to the death of Christopher Garwell.”
He accepted Cunnah could not claim self-defence but argued there was no requisite murderous intent’.
“These are not lads bent on murder, these are lads behaving as kids do,” added Mr Harrington, who also referred to a ‘wasted’ day in which the defendants and victim had all been drinking and smoking cannabis.
Mr Harrington also addressed the issue of Mr Garwell’s medical treatment which he found ‘troubling’.
A contributory factor in his death and that of two other young people treated at Liverpool’s Walton hospital in a 36 hour period was the rare Propofol infusion syndrome associated with the use of a sedative of that name.
Jeffrey Samuels, representing the 17-year-old co-accused, told the jury his client should be found not guilty and they may believe the case could be titled ‘a series of unfortunate events’.
He too was concerned about Mr Garwell’s medical treatment, including on admission at the Countess of Chester Hospital, where his condition was initially treated as drink-related.
Mr Samuels accepted his client punched the deceased twice but said the second blow came before the second kick from Cunnah which caused the victim to fall to the floor and hit his head.
This version was consistent with that of witness Natalie Rigby, although it contradicts evidence from a 17-year-old female witness who said the co-accused’s second punch landed at the same time as Cunnah’s final kick.
He argued his client may have acted in self-defence in response to a perceived threat from Mr Garwell.
The judge Mr Justice Nicol has begun his summing up, with the jury expected to be sent out to consider its verdict early next week.