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Reece Cox accused cannot justify kicking young dad on ground

A man accused of murdering a young father could not justify kicking him while he was defenceless on the ground, a trial heard.

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Reece Cox. Photo: West Midlands Police

Wayne Burke, aged 23, claimed he was protecting himself when he repeatedly kicked and punched Reece Cox, 24, outside The Clifton in Sedgley, on the evening of August 15 last year.

But when CCTV footage was played to him of Mr Cox "on all fours", with Burke seen kicking him, he could not account for his actions, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

Mr Cox died after he tried to play peacemaker when a group of young men attacked Grant Danbury, whom he had been drinking with earlier that evening, jurors heard.

Mr Cox was then repeatedly punched and kicked by a number of attackers, and later died.

Burke, of Queen Street, Pensnett, is one of six men, aged between 19 and 26, accused of murdering Wolves fan Mr Cox.

Burke has denied murder, manslaughter, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and violent disorder.

Mr David Mason QC, prosecuting, asked Burke on the witness stand: "I am trying to understand how you can say to the jury you were defending yourself?

"Everybody sees Reece Cox on the ground and helpless, at a time when you kick him again?" Burke replied: "Yes."

The judge, Michael Chambers QC, sought to clarify the defendant's position, saying: "You accept you are defending yourself at this point?"


Burke said: "At that point I cannot justify defending myself."

Mr Mason replied: "I think you accept, at that stage, you cannot say you were defending yourself?" Burke said: "Yes."

When the violence first started, CCTV showed Burke kicking Mr Cox twice and punching him three times.

Burke said he "regretted" what had happened with Mr Cox and was "sad".

Mr Mason responded by saying: "Why can't you admit you are guilty of these offences?"

Burke said: "I am not saying I am not. But I am not guilty of murder."

However, Mr Mason sought to clarify again, asking Burke: "During the course of this incident, you say you are acting in self defence against Mr Cox and Grant Danbury?"

Burke replied: "I am against Mr Cox but not Grant Danbury."

Earlier in the cross examination, Burke said: "He [Mr Cox] put his face in my face. I assaulted him before he assaulted me.

"At the end of the day, other action that could have been taken."

When asked to clarify this point, Burke said: "Just leaving the scene."

Of the six defendants, evidence has now been heard from Burke and Shaquel Halliday, 22.

Adam Ashwin, 20, and Shane Jones, 26, will not be giving evidence. Ashwin is accused of delivering the final kick to Mr Cox, striking him on his head.

Evidence from Sebastian Jones, 19, and Ryan Nicklin, 22, has not yet been heard.

Ashwin, of Monument Lane, Sedgley, denies murder.

Halliday, of Shadwell Drive, Lower Gornal; Shane Jones, of Orchard Grove, Lower Gornal; Nicklin, of Limes Avenue, Pensnett; and Sebastian Jones, of Corser Street, Dudley, deny murder, manslaughter, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and violent disorder.

The trial continues.

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