A MAN has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Nathan Robbie Buckland, of Newton Aycliffe, County Durham had been accused of the murder of Iain Lee, also from the town.

Prosecutors said Buckland, of Lumley Close, had punched Mr Lee, causing him to fall back and hit his head on the road, fracturing his skull in two places.

Buckland had denied the charge and was found not guilty of murder.

However, the 25-year-old was found guilty of manslaughter following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

The Northern Echo:

The Roundhouse pub, in Newton Aycliffe

Mr Lee, 31, had been rendered unconscious in a bus stop in Stephenson Way, a short distance from The Roundhouse pub, in the early hours of Saturday, September 8.

He died in hospital 11 days later, on September 19, never having regained consciousness.

Buckland, who was working as a project manager for a construction company at the time of the incident, had claimed he had not punched his victim, but had been trying to calm him down and had fallen as he grabbed his collar, causing both men to fall to the ground.

During the trial, Buckland had claimed his victim was "on a mission to self-destruct" and had been shouting and making threats prior to the incident in Stephenson Way.

The defendant had sought to portray himself as a peacemaker, going to Mr Lee to calm him down rather than to "teach him a lesson", as claimed by the prosecution.