Man denies assaulting father-of-two who later died from slow bleed to brain

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A murder-accused man has denied attacking a father-of-two who died just hours into a holiday in Turkey.

Simon Marx, 42, was physically sick shortly after he arrived in the coastal resort of Fethiye in the early hours of October 8 and later died in his sleep from a slow bleed to the brain.

Prosecutors say Mr Marx had been involved in an altercation at the Newton Arms in Blackpool, Lancashire, just after midnight on October 6 when he was allegedly subjected to a joint attack by Steven Lane, 29, and David Easter, 54.

The Crown said Lane stamped on him at least three times while he was unconscious on the floor after he was punched several times to the head and face by Easter.

Giving evidence on Wednesday, Lane said Mr Marx initially slapped him in the face while “noticeably drunk” after he was earlier confronted aggressively in the pub by a friend of the victim.

He said an exchange of punches followed between Mr Marx and Easter, who was with Lane, before another man, Rick Alston, joined in in what he thought was an assault on his co-defendant.

Lane also denied glassing Mr Alston but said he did punch him in self-defence as he attempted to grab him in the melee, Preston Crown Court heard.

That punch caused him “excruciating pain” that led to a broken hand, Lane told the jury.

His barrister, Nicholas Johnson QC, asked: “There is a suggestion made that you punched or chinned Simon Marx and that he falls to the floor unconscious?”

Lane replied: “No.”

Mr Johnson: “Did you punch Simon Marx at any stage?”

“No,” repeated the witness.

Mr Johnson continued: “Were you in a position to punch Simon Marx?

Lane said: “He was further away from me. I couldn’t use my hand again.”

The defendant said he jumped in between Mr Marx, Mr Alston and Easter in a bid to break up the fight but did not stamp on anyone.

After “a lot of pushing and shoving” with Mr Alston, he swiped a glass off a nearby table in a bid to cause a distraction, he told the jury.

He explained he did not see what direction the glass went in and then left the scene in fear he was going to be attacked and could not defend himself.

Asked by Mr Johnson about his reflections on the night, Lane said: “It’s tragic.

“At the time I acted out of instincts towards a threat we both faced.”

Cross-examining, Gordon Cole QC asked Lane why he had not mentioned when interviewed by police about his claim he swiped the glass off the table.

Lane replied he could not recall the detail at the time.

Mr Cole accused him of adapting his account to fit in with the CCTV footage shown to the jury and asked him why he had also not told the police that an object was thrown at him earlier outside the pub.

Lane said he had not remembered that either at the time.

He added: “I had been involved in a high stress situation and had a nasty injury to my hand.”

Mr Cole said: “The high stress was caused by you stamping or kicking a man and causing him really serious harm, which you did.”

Lane said: “No.”

Mr Cole added: “The stress was caused by you deliberately ramming a glass into someone’s head.”

“No,” repeated the defendant.

Easter claims he was acting in self-defence by punching Mr Marx, who he said had squared up to him .

He said he did not see any stamping in the pub.

Lane, of Shalgrove Road, Fulwood, Preston, and Easter, of Heron Way, Blackpool, deny murder.

Lane also has pleaded not guilty to wounding Mr Alston with intent.

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