A TEENAGER has admitted fatally punching a man after he threatened to ‘put him in the boot’ during a drunken confrontation on a garage forecourt.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, punched Thomas Mallaby to the ground when the 40-year-old walked towards him in an agitated manner, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Jurors heard how the father-of-five managed to pull himself up from the ground after the boy had kicked him when he was on the floor.

CCTV footage of the incident at the Esso service station in Annfield Plain last September then showed the teenager punch Mr Mallaby to the ground again but this time he suffered a fatal blow to he head when his skull crashed against the concrete.

The court had heard how Mr Mallaby had told the teenager he was going to ‘put him in the boot’ before getting out of the car which had blocked the path of the Mercedes in which the teenager was travelling.

The Northern Echo: The Esso service station at Annfield PlainThe Esso service station at Annfield Plain

Defence barrister, John Elvidge QC, asked the teenager: “How was he behaving towards you?”

The teenager said: “He just looked really angry.”

He asked: “What did you think Thomas Mallory was going to do to you?”

The boy replied: “I thought he was going to put me in the boot.”

Me Elvidge asked: “What did you do next?” He replied: “When he stepped towards me, I punched him. When he came towards me, I pushed him but when he stepped forward again, I punched him.”

The teenager then told the jury that he kicked the 40-year-old up the backside before he got back to his feet and he punched him again, this time knocking him unconscious when he hit the ground.

His barrister asked him if he meant to kill Mr Mallaby, the teenager replied: “No.”

Earlier, the jury had heard how Mr Mallaby was taken to hospital but died two days later due to the extent of the head injury he suffered.

Under cross examination from prosecuting counsel, Peter Makepeace QC, the teenager denied ever having any boxing lessons.

He asked: “At any time did Thomas Mallaby hit you?” The boy replied: “No.”

“At any time did Thomas Mallaby try to hit you?” Again the boy replied: “No.”

Initially, the teenager was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm but was charged with murder following Mr Mallaby’s death two days after the altercation.

He denies murder but has admitted manslaughter.

The trial continues.

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