Kettering manslaughter trial gets under way

Police in Barnwell Street, Kettering, on June 2, 2013
Police in Barnwell Street, Kettering, on June 2, 2013
  • Man knocked unconscious in street fight died six weeks later
  • Defendant denies manslaughter
  • Two other men charged with violent disorder

A Kettering man died six weeks after he was knocked unconscious during a fight in the street.

Marc Sturgess was 41 years old when he died in July 2013, about six weeks after the incident in Barnwell Street on the evening of June 1.

Ryan Turner, 19, of Poppy Fields in Kettering, is facing charges of manslaughter following the incident.

Two other Kettering men, Jason Loake, 44, of St Matthew’s Road, and Barry Denney, 43, of Edgar Road, are also facing charges of violent disorder relating to the same incident.

Their joint trial got under way at Northampton Crown Court yesterday (Monday).

Prosecution barrister Luke Blackburn told the court that the origin of the fight was an incident a month earlier in Mojo’s bar in Kettering, when Ryan Turner’s brother Josh and Loake had a fight which left Loake with an injured hand.

Mr Blackburn said that fight led to Loake, Denney and Mr Sturgess turning up at the home of Josh Turner a month later.

However, several of Josh Turner’s friends and his brother Ryan also arrived at the scene.

Mr Sturgess was attacked by Ryan Turner and another man called Jake Freeland, who has already pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which left Mr Sturgess unconscious.

Six weeks later, Mr Sturgess died.

Mr Blackburn said when they were arrested for their parts in the incident, Denney and Loake said in interview they had been in Barnwell Street on the night in question but had only been there as they were walking to a nearby Tesco, that none of them had banged on Josh Turner’s door, and that they had been attacked by a group of men.

In court on Monday, witness Jordan Spolton said he had been smoking a cigarette outside the former Challenge Arms pub in Eskdaill Street when he saw three men, one of whom he knew was Marc Sturgess, arrive at the pub.

The other two men were Loake and Denney.

Mr Spolton said he had been drunk at the time but said Mr Sturgess said they were looking for Josh Turner and it was said as if they “wanted a fight”.

Mr Spolton tried to phone Josh Turner to warn him when the men left but could not contact him.

He also tried to phone Ryan Turner and another friend but could not get through to any of them.

Another witness, Brett Davis, was with Mr Spolton at the time but told the court he could only remember Loake and Denney arriving at the pub.

He told the court that Denney, who he said appeared “irate”, said they were looking for Josh Turner.

The trial is expected to last at least two weeks.

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