Leeds punch victim widow's grief

The grieving partner of a man who died after he was punched outside a Leeds pub has spoken for the first time about her loss.

Jacqueline Cocker, 43, had been in a relationship with Robert Wilson, nicknamed Aky, for 16 years when he died in June last year.

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Mr Wilson, 44, fractured his skull when his head hit the floor outside the Skyrack in Headingley and he died in hospital 11 days later.

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Christopher Perry, 26, was cleared of his manslaughter by jury at Leeds Crown Court last week, after he insisted he was acting in 'self defence'.

Heartbroken Jacqueline said she was still trying to come to terms with

Robert's death seven months on.

"Myself and Robert's family miss everything about him and we have been to hell and back since he died," she said.

"He wasn't a violent man and would never start a fight. In all the time were were together he was never violent.

"I believe the night he died he was acting totally out of character. He was my world – my lifeline."

The incident happened in the evening following England's 1-1 draw with the USA. Perry told the court he hit Mr Wilson because he thought he was going to get hit himself.

He was acquitted after less than two hours of deliberations.

Jacqueline added: "I walked out of the court as soon as the decision came. Over 250 people came to the funeral and that speaks for itself.

"Robert was in a coma and I spent every day at his bedside until the decision was made to switch off the machines. We couldn't bury him for two months and I couldn't eat or sleep until he was laid to rest.

He was a good man, and had a great sense of humour."

Following the not guilty verdict, the court heard that Perry was later recalled to prison after his arrest last year because he was on licence from a four-year sentence imposed in 2008 for possession with intent to supply drugs.

After the trial ended, Perry's girlfriend Francesca Kelly, 21, of Noth Park Grove, Leeds, was jailed for 27 weeks and her friend Laura Lim, 23, of Gosney House, Bideford Avenue, Leeds, for 24 weeks for admitting

acts intending to pervert the court of justice.

Prosecutor Joanathan Sharp said Lim, who drove Perry away after the incident, and Kelly had agreed to lie to police pretending they did not know the identity of Perry and the friend with them that night.

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