Killer punch was an act of self-defence’

PUBLISHED: 09:27 18 April 2008 | UPDATED: 09:30 12 August 2010

A CAR salesman admitted throwing the punch that killed a reveller outside a nightclub.  However, Oliver O Bryan, 23, told a jury last Friday he was the victim and said he had to defend himself from an aggressive Paul Baker.  Mr Baker died in hospital fr

A CAR salesman admitted throwing the punch that killed a reveller outside a nightclub.

However, Oliver O'Bryan, 23, told a jury last Friday he was the victim and said he had to defend himself from an 'aggressive' Paul Baker.

Mr Baker died in hospital from brain injuries 32 hours after the attack, during which he hit his head on the pavement outside the The Lounge in Chislehurst on May 7, last year.

O'Bryan, a former scaffolder, said he came out of the nightclub to find his brother Christopher scuffling with Mr Baker.

He said: "He (Christopher) had his hand across his stomach and he wasn't getting up. My initial thoughts were that he may have been stabbed.

"Paul Baker was jumping up and down, waving his arms, he had his fists clenched. All of a sudden there were people all around and he just came through the people and ran straight at me.

"He got so close to me, within arms length. He was going to hit me or I hit him or he was going to stab me."

O'Bryan turned to the jury and said: "I never intended this and I never wanted this to happen in any way.

"This was an accident, that in my opinion was absolutely tragic.

"I never meant for this. I have thought 1,000 times, every single day since it happened about how Paul's family is, just as mine would as if it was the other way round. I was in fear, he came at me. He was very aggressive and he attacked me.

"I was in a no win situation, I feared for myself and for my safety. That's why I hit him with one punch.

"I did what I thought was right at the time and necessary in defending myself."

O'Bryan said he got involved after hearing shouts of 'Oli, Oli! Quick, it's your brother' after leaving the club.

Witnesses have told the court they heard a loud thump as Mr Baker's head hit the floor, but the suspect said he only saw the fall and thought he had just been knocked out.

He branded prosecution suggestions he kicked the victim in the head as he lay motionless on the floor as 'ludicrous'.

It is claimed O'Bryan, his brother Christopher, 25, and friend Daniel Evans attacked Mr Baker.

They all deny manslaughter and violent disorder.

Earlier Daniel's brother Samuel, 25, was cleared of both charges by the jury, on the direction of the judge.

Christopher and Oliver O'Bryan, both of Half Moon Lane, Tonbridge - but formerly from Shortlands - and Daniel Evans, of Leas Green, Chislehurst, deny manslaughter and violent disorder.

The trial continues.


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