Reece Cox murder: Trial told how father was beaten to death as he tried to help friend

A young father was beaten to death by six men who set upon him using a "pack mentality" after he tried to help someone else being attacked near a Black Country pub, a court has been told.

Reece Cox was aged 24 when he died
Reece Cox was aged 24 when he died

Reece Cox, 24, had stepped in to try and play peacemaker when a man he had been drinking with earlier was targeted by a group of friends near the Clifton pub on Bull Ring, Sedgley.

But the group, aged between 19 and 26, then turned on Mr Cox, surrounding him before throwing punches and kicks at the victim who tried in vain to defend himself, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

CCTV footage of the disorder was played to the jury on the opening day of the trial and showed one of the group, Adam Ashwin, deliver a final kick to Mr Cox's head as he was attempting to get up from the floor, knocking him unconscious. He never woke up. All six deny murder.

A wide range of colours were on display.
Tributes outside the Clifton pub.

Prosecutor Mr David Mason explained how Mr Cox and a friend had been drinking with Grant Danbury and his girlfriend Kelly Timmins at the nearby White Horse pub on August 15 last year.

After leaving the pub there was a "minor, innocuous collision" with one of the group, who had not long left the Swan pub.

It sparked a confrontation and led to Mr Danbury being punched and chased before he sought refuge inside the Clifton, Mr Mason said. That was when Mr Cox, who was standing nearby, got involved.

Mr Mason told the court: "He was beaten to death because he dared to try and intervene in another incident in which another young man was being attacked by the six men on trial on this case.

A sea of tributes at the scene.

"Although Reece's friend said don't get involved, words to the effect of "this is not our fight", Reece appeared to be the sort of bloke who when he saw something he didn't agree with stepped in to help."

He added: "Reece did step in and it cost him his life. He was set upon by the six defendants in this case, in what can only be described as pack mentality.

"They surrounded Reece and beat him to death. He stood absolutely no chance, the prosecution say. Within a matter of seconds, Reece lay dying on the ground."

Reece Cox with his son. Photo: West Midlands Police

Medics attempted to save Wolves fan Mr Cox, from Sedgley, who had a young son, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. His cause of death was given as blunt force trauma, with alcohol consumption a contributing factor.

Flowers, scarves and other tributes were left at the scene following his death last year.

Mr Mason said: "The reality is Reece died because he was beaten to death on that night. He was beaten so badly that his body couldn't cope and he just stopped breathing.

"All because he stepped in to help somebody else."

Adam Ashwin, 20, of Monument Lane, Sedgley, denies murder.

Wayne Burke, 23, of Queens Street, Pensnett; Shaquel Halliday, 22, of Shadwell Drive, Lower Gornal; Shane Jones, 26, of Orchard Grove, Lower Gornal; Ryan Nicklin, 22, of Limes Avenue, Pensnett; and Sebastian Jones, 19, of Corser Street, Dudley, deny murder, manslaughter, assault actioning actual bodily harm and violent disorder.

The trial continues.

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