Man threw punch ‘to avoid attack’

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Ravi Sandhu has described the argument which resulted in him throwing a punch that led to the death of a father-of-two.

Sandhu, 24, is on trial at Luton Crown Court accused of the manslaughter of Kevin Harrison, 48, of Raunds, in Bedford town centre last year. He denies the charge.

Giving evidence Sandhu, of Kathie Road, Bedford, said he threw the punch as he feared Mr Harrison was about to attack him and his friends. He said he was standing with family members when Mr Harrison deliberately barged into one of them.

Words were exchanged and he said Mr Harrison threw a punch towards his face which went past his jaw. He said Mr Harrison threw another “swing” at him which missed, the pair pushed each other and Mr Harrison said “Paki” to him.

Police separated them and Sandhu walked up High Street. He said he tried to turn back but the police would not let him, so he remained by St Paul’s Square and minutes later, Mr Harrison appeared.

He said: “He made his way back towards our group, he had an aggressive demeanour. I heard him say ‘Come on I’m going to get all your family’.”

Sandhu said Mr Harrison walked up to his cousin Sunil, who told him “Leave it, it’s done now”.

He said: “I saw Sunil step back but I didn’t know what the reason was. I was thinking Mr Harrison would attack us again. I thought he’d try to hit Sunil at which point I punched Mr Harrison.”

He said he ran off because Mr Harrison had been on the phone and he thought he might have called people to attack him and his cousins.