Leeds man cleared of killing his girlfriend

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A man accused of killing his partner with a single punch at their home in Leeds has been found not guilty of manslaughter.

Leslie Watson, 48, was cleared by a jury after a week-long trial at Leeds Crown Court. During the trial, the court heard a recording of a 999 call for help made by Mr Watson’s partner Tammy Dodgson after it was claimed she was struck a fatal punch.

Miss Dodgson died 16 days after emergency services were called to their home on Ascot Terrace, East End Park.

The prosecution claimed Watson struck his partner of six years a single blow.

Miss Dodgson, 34, dialled 999 and complained of severe head pains around an hour after police had been to their home to arrest Mr Watson. The jury heard a recording of the emergency call in which she said: “I have been assaulted by my partner. He has punched me in the head and I have got severe head pains.” She added: “He knocked me out. He’s been locked up now. He’s in the police station.”

Miss Dodgson was taken to Leeds General Infirmary where her condition worsened. She collapsed and never regained consciousness.

Prosecutor Simon Waley said Miss Dodgson suffered bleeding to the brain and died on September 27 last year.

Opening the case, Mr Waley said: “The prosecution case is that this injury which was caused was inflicted by one punch which the defendant delivered.” He added: “Tammy Dodgson and this defendant had been partners for about six years by the time of these events. You will hear that they were both registered alcoholics and their relationship was frequently, it would seem, a turbulent one, particularly when they were in drink.” Mr Watson denied punching Miss Dodgson. The jury of seven woman and five men reached the not guilty verdict after four hours and 20 minutes of deliberation.

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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