Leeds: 'I'm devastated' - single punch death accused

A man on trial for manslaughter broke down as he recalled the moment he discovered he had killed someone with a single blow in a fight outside a Leeds pub.

Christopher Perry, 26, said he was devastated after being told Robert Wilson had died 11 days after the incident outside the Skyrack, in Headingley, Leeds.

Mr Wilson, 44, suffered fatal head injuries when he hit his head on the ground after being struck by Perry hours after the England V USA World

Cup group match on June 12 last year.

Perry, of Shadwell Walk, Moortown, denies manslaughter.

Giving evidence yesterday, Perry said he was shocked when he saw on the news two days later that a man had been attacked outside the Skyrack.

He began crying when asked by his barrister Nigel Edwards how he felt

when Mr Wilson died. Perry said: "Devastated. How can you put that into words? Whatever happened that night, because of my actions, he lost his life."

Mr Edwards said: "When the police came to arrest you, you were crying on the stairs. Are you sorry for what happened?" Perry replied: "Very."

The barrister continued: "Are you sorry that you got caught, or sorry it happened?"

Perry said: "No, I'm sorry about what happened. I have got to deal with that for the rest of life now, no matter what it was over."

Perry said he struck out "instinctively" as he felt certain Mr Wilson was going to punch him when he came at him in a boxer's stance.

He said: "It was just a tap from what I remember. It just happened so fast." He added: "He fell straight to the ground and went as stiff as a board. Yes I was shocked. He was just laid out in the road."

During cross-examination, prosecutor Jonathan Sharp put it to Perry that he had been acting in anger after a scuffle moments earlier in the Skyrack beer garden.

Mr Sharp said: "He had been throwing abuse over the road. You snapped.

You had been wound up and you went back to give him a good hard punch

to teach him a lesson."

Perry replied: "No. I disagree totally with that statement."

Proceeding