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Reece Cox trial: Father died from 'sustained blunt force trauma' with alcohol a contributing factor, court told

A young father who defended a man outside a Sedgley pub died from "sustained blunt force trauma" which was "exacerbated" due to alcohol, a court heard.

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Reece Cox with his son. Photo: West Midlands Police

Consultant forensic pathologist Dr Brett Lockyer told Wolverhampton Crown Court victim Reece Cox had died due to the combination of the two factors.

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

Dr Lockyer, who carried out the post-mortem of the victim on August 17 last year, said the two factors had led to the "dysfunction" of Mr Cox's heart and lungs.

A toxicology report, which Dr Lockyer analysed as part of his conclusion, found Mr Cox had a concentration of 203mg per 100ml of alcohol in his blood, with the drink-drive level being 80mg per 100ml by comparison, jurors heard.

Dr Lockyer told Wolverhampton Crown Court: "I'm of the opinion this man has died as a result of sustained blunt force trauma to the head [and] the effects have been exacerbated by alcohol intoxication."

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Mr Cox had suffered bruises, lacerations and abrasions around the head and face region, with "three areas of patterned bruising" above the nose and onto the forehead, the left cheek and the chin and a further injury to the front of Mr Cox's neck, a court heard.

Dr Lockyer told jurors it therefore meant there had been "at least four impacts" to the victim's head and neck region but he couldn't say whether this was the maximum number of impacts that occurred.

The expert said Mr Cox's internal injuries mostly "correlated" with his external ones and there was no pre-existing diseases which could have contributed or caused his death, a judge heard.

The victim's upper-right incisor tooth was "damaged and broken" and there was bruising and lacerations of the gums, and Mr Cox's upper-left incisor was also damaged, the trial heard.

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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