Teen who allegedly landed a ‘ferocious’ punch on landlord text message friends saying ‘Oops’ after he killed him

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A landlord sustained “catastrophic brain injuries” and died after being hit with a “ferocious” punch whilst trying to move a gang of boys on from outside his pub, a jury has been told.

At Swansea Crown Court A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named because of his age, went on trial today charged with the manslaughter of Mark Clement Winchcombe, who was landlord of the Smiths Arms in Neath Abbey.

Opening the case for the prosecution, John Hipkin QC told the jury how Mr Winchcombe had attempted to usher away a gang of young men who were outside his pub just before 1am on September 1 last year.

Earlier that evening, the court heard the teenager had been out in the streets of Neath with a number of others, when they had got into a verbal altercation with a man called Geraint Morgan.

Mr Winchcombe, 58, had been inside the pub drinking with friends, before he had been asked to go outside and try and move the gang on, accompanied by Mr Morgan and Steven Davies, a taxi driver who had pulled in to help after seeing the events unfolding and sensing the landlord “was in danger”.

Mr Hipkin explained that during the efforts, a “ferocious punch” was thrown by the defendant towards the landlord, which caused fractures to his face, and catastrophic brain injuries as a result of his head connecting with the pavement.

Upon his arrival at hospital, neurosurgeons concluded that the brain injury Mr Winchcombe had sustained was “unsurvivable”, and that nothing could be done for him. He was pronounced dead at 4.05am that morning.

The teenager was later arrested, and the prosecution said that according to samples taken from him whilst in custody, he had taken cocaine.

The court heard after the incident, and before his arrest, the teenager had sent out a message on Snapchat reading: ‘Oops’, along with an emoji.

He had also sent a message to friends which read: “Tell them not to say anything boys. Boys, you should not be saying anything.”

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Lizzie Day