A TEENAGER who launched a violent attack on a father-of five following a row on a petrol station forecourt is on trial for murder.

Thomas Mallaby was repeatedly punched and kicked as the young man attacked him in the early hours of the morning.

The 40-year-old father of four was taken to hospital following the assault but died of his injuries two days later.

Initially, the 15-year-old was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm but was charged with murder following Mr Mallaby’s death in September last year.

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Teesside Crown Court heard how the teenager, who is now 16 and cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murder but has admitted manslaughter.

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Peter Makepeace QC, prosecuting, said the fatal attack took place at the Esso petrol station in Annfield Plain, near Stanley, at 2.40am on Sunday, September 26.

The jury heard how the teenager was ‘bouncing on his toes like a boxer’ before throwing a number of punches, knocking Mr Mallaby to the floor.

Once we manged to get himself back to his feet, the teenager punched back to the ground before kicking him twice.

Mr Makepeace said Mr Mallaby smacked his head on the car’s door frame leaving him unsteady on his feet before the teenager launched one last attack and punched the man to the ground, this time hitting his head on the tarmac.

Opening the prosecution case, the barrister said the violence flared after the teenager ‘slapped’ the driver of the red VW Beetle before squaring up to Mr Mallaby when he got out of his cousin’s car.

He said: “He has struck him with a left-right combination punch, which put simply, felled Mr Mallaby. He dropped to the ground again, unrestrained in an accelerated way and it was an unprotected fall. He didn’t put his hands out.

“As he fell that time, he struck the floor of the petrol station and he received a substantial brain injury as a direct result of that bang to the head, which in due course proved to be fatal.

“As the police were called and as Mr Mallaby’s companions tried to treat him at the scene pending the arrival of the police and paramedics, the teenager returned to the Mercedes car and he and his friends drove away to Consett where he resumed his night out.”

Jurors watched CCTV footage of the build up to the confrontation between some of the occupants of the red VW Beetle, in which Mr Mallaby arrived at the scene, and the Mercedes, in which the defendant arrived at the scene.

They will watch the CCTV of the teenager throwing the series of punches when the trial resumes tomorrow morning.

The trial continues.

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