Reece Cox murder trial: Defendant describes how he 'very stupidly kicked out' at young father

Reece Cox died in attack outside pub.

A man accused of the murder of a young father has described the fight which lead to Reece Cox's death outside a Sedgley pub.

Shaquel Halliday is one of six men charged with killing Mr Cox, who 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, on August 15.

Halliday told a jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court how he had visited a number of pubs in Dudley with friends as he was celebrating his birthday, before they tried to get into The Clifton but they were operating a one-in-one-out policy.

He said: "I decided to call it a night after I couldn't get in. I remember walking back down the path and a male came running towards me. I believe it was Grant Danbury.

"I saw my older brother was running behind him as well. I put my hands out to Mr Danbury, I stopped him to see what was going on.

"I was not being aggressive towards him, he started swearing at me and giving me a lot of abuse.

"I remember getting pushed into the doorway and my brother was there as well. I didn't know if he was going to start a fight with my brother so, as you see, I did kick out towards Mr Danbury.

"I threw a punch as well but I don't believe I hit him."

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Halliday then said he was standing by friend Tommy Williams who pointed out Reece Cox and said "That fella up there is kicking off", so Halliday went to "See what was going on".

"He was shouting 'I'll have all of you'," Halliday said. "My friend was there, that's who he was being aggressive towards.

"I believe I've got up close to him and I've said 'What is going on?'.

"He raised his hand to me and said 'What are you going to do?'

"He raised his arm to me and I pushed out with my left hand. I didn't want to fight with him.

"I felt someone grab me by the scruff of my shirt and a heavy blow to the side of my face. I believe it was Reece.

"It made me dazed and I was shocked. I felt my hat had come off and I was looking to see where my hat had gone.

"I've gone over to pick up my cap."

Doorway

Halliday was then asked if he had wanted any further involvement and whether he knew what was happening at that point. He answered no to both questions.

"After I picked my hat up I've gone over and grabbed my friend Sebastian," he added.

"They were all fighting so I tried to pull him away. I remember getting pushed back and flung into a doorway.

"I thought Reece had pushed Sebastian, which has resulted in me going flying into the doorway.

"I got back up and I was shocked and very stupidly kicked out at Reece.

"I didn't realise exactly what had happened, I thought he might attack me again so I very stupidly kicked out.

"I remember stepping back, I realised he was no longer a threat to me and I remember somebody pulling me backwards as well.

"There were people starting to circle around him. I walked, not straight past, but still in the area, I believe going to the guy he was with. I can't remember speaking to him. I then carried on walking with my friend Ryan Nicklin.

"I said to my brother 'Someone's been knocked out around there, check if he's alright'. I said to Ryan 'We need to see if he's OK' and we turned around.

"There were people putting him in the recovery position. I wanted to know he was OK and wasn't seriously injured."

Halliday then described leaving with a friend to go to the BP Petrol Station, then to his friend Brandon Wells' house.

At Wolverhampton Crown Court, 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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