Orpington man jailed over death of James Harris-Durkin

PUBLISHED: 16:39 20 November 2012

James Harris-Durkin

James Harris-Durkin

Met Police

A man has been jailed for three years following a fight at an Orpington Jubilee party that led to the death of James Harris-Durkin.

Liam Smith, 26, of Thorndon Close, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and perverting the course of justice at the Old Bailey today (Tuesday).

His partner, Leanne Turner, 25, received a six month suspended sentence and 200 hours of community service having also admitted to perverting the course of justice.

Mr Durkin-Harris, 21, was found collapsed in Court Road by police at around 3.30am on June 5 and was taken by ambulance to the Royal London Hospital where he later died.

A post-mortem examination at the Princess Royal Hospital, in Farnborough Common, gave the cause of death as a deep brain bleed caused by a blunt force trauma.

The father-of-three had travelled from Eastbourne to Orpington where he attended a barbecue with family and friends in Court Road on June 4.

During the party a fight broke out between Smith and the victim, resulting in fatal injuries.

Both Smith and Turner told police they left the party before the fight took place, but their lies later led to charges of perverting the course of justice and Smith being charged with murder on June 12.

A manslaughter plea was later accepted by the prosecution.

Investigating officer, Dt Sgt Larry Deabrey, said: “The victim had been enjoying the Jubilee celebrations along with millions across the country when an altercation led to his untimely death.

“We are satisfied with today’s conviction for manslaughter.”

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