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Accused said he felt threatened
A TEENAGER denying the manslaughter of a North Yorkshire man told a jury yesterday he only punched him fearing he was going to be struck.
Robert Adamczyk, 28 from South Milford, died from head injuries after he had been out in Leeds on a stag night.
Andrew Wright, 19, told Leeds Crown Court he and two friends were walking along New Briggate, Leeds, in the early hours of December 9, last year, when they passed Mr Adamczyk and his friend James Pollard.
He said he had not paid any attention to them, but heard one of his friends, Kyle Monkman, saying: “Sorry mate, what was that.”
He turned and saw everybody had stopped and his friend David Taylor was saying something about not wanting any trouble or altercation to the two older men who were walking back towards them.
He then heard Taylor say, “If you are going to hit anybody hit me.”
Richard Wright QC defending Wright asked: “What happened then?”
“He hit David,” replied Wright. “Mr Adamczyk hit him with his right hand, it connected with the left side of his face.”
He said his friend stumbled back and held his face.
Wright told the jury he looked at his friend to see if he was all right and then looked back at Mr Adamczyk.
“He was looking at me like he was going to hit me. He had his fist already clenched and drew it further back and that’s when I hit him to get away.”
“I felt threatened basically when he looked at me. I don’t look for fighting, I don’t want it. As he was clenching his fist all I could think of was ‘I’m going to get hit or I hit him’, so I hit him to get away.”
Wright, of Whingate Grove, Leeds denies the manslaughter of Mr Adamczyk and affray.
Taylor, 19 of Prince Edward Grove, Wortley, Leeds also denies affray. The jury has heard Kyle Monkman, has already admitted affray.
The prosecution claim it was Wright who was the aggressor, not Mr Adamczyk, and that the punch thrown by Wright was unlawful, causing him to fall to the ground, suffering the head injuries from which he died.
Wright said when he looked at Mr Adamczyk on the ground it looked like he was not breathing. “I thought he was unconscious.”
He said his hand was hurting as he walked away and he later discovered he had broken his little finger.
When he subsequently heard Mr Adamczyk had died he said: “I was shocked, upset, I didn’t know what to do.”
• The trial continues.