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Reece Cox murder trial: Final kick alone could have killed young father, jury told

Victim was attacked outside Sedgley pub.

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Reece Cox with his son. Photo: West Midlands Police

The final kick a young father suffered in a fight could alone have caused his death, a neuropathologist said.

But consultant neuropathologist Dr Daniel du Plessis told the jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court previous kicks could have contributed to victim Reece Cox's death.

Mr Cox, aged 24, died outside The Clifton pub, on the Bull Ring, Sedgley, on August 15 last year after trying to break up a fight. All six defendants have denied murder.

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Dr du Plessis examined Mr Cox's brain on October 7.

Dr du Plessis said: "He was a fit and healthy man. Mr Cox was 2.5 times the drink drive limit.

"It was clear that this brain was swollen. There were no bleeds.

"It was clear that the brain had been deprived of blood and oxygen supply.

"His breathing stopped at some point and that progressed to cardiac arrest and his heart stopped which shut down the blood and oxygen supply to the brain.

"The likelihood is Mr Cox was rendered concussed.

"In the CCTV he is on his knees then he falls to the ground in an unresponsive state.


"It's quite possible that the physical force may have stimulated brain swelling.

"When someone has been rendered profoundly concussed they can stop breathing and if you don't recover your breathing the blood oxygen levels will drop and that will have adverse effect on your heart.

"Mr Cox suffered a post concussive cardio respiratory arrest. This particular condition is quite rare, but the only alternative being the brain swelling caused his death but that relates to a head injury.

"Both routes relate to physical force being applied to the head.

"The overwhelming likelihood is some sort of concussive injury was given before the final kick. He looks stunned before the final kick. The final kick rendered Mr Cox immediately unresponsive.

"This could certainly constitute the severity or of quality to have caused death.

"Proceeding concussive blows could have made his brain more susceptible to the final kick and in that capacity also contributed to the cause of death."

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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