A man is on trial for murdering an alcoholic in his own home after he had a row with his father and became ‘angry and volatile’.

Kieran Potts is accused of inflicting the fatal head injuries that resulted in Norman Ryan’s death last August.

The 55-year-old was discovered unconscious in his Hartlepool flat by the defendant’s father, Carl, who was a neighbour of alleged murder victim.

The Northern Echo: Norman RyanNorman Ryan (Image: Cleveland Police)

Sharon Beattie KC, opening the prosecution case, said the defendant had spent the day drinking in Mr Ryan’s flat before they were joined by his father and his new partner as well as her young child.

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The jury heard how Carl and Kieran Potts had an argument before they left the left leaving behind Kieran and Mr Ryan.

“Shortly after they left, they were followed by Kieran Potts who walked up the street,” she said. “He was heard by a neighbour shouting at the three of them, then the neighbour heard him refer to knocking out Norman Ryan.

“Kieran was seen to go back into the flat before leaving again after a short while.”

The court heard how Mr Potts senior became concerned about his friend’s welfare and went to his flat to find him unconscious and bleeding from his injuries on August 31, last year.

Ms Beattie added: “The head injuries that Norman Ryan suffered led to his death. He died nine days later without regaining consciousness.

“It is the prosecution case that it was Kieran Potts, being angry and volatile, who attacked Norman Ryan.”

Potts was later captured on CCTV carrying a crate of lager on his shoulder after leaving the alleged victim’s flat on Troutpool Close.

She added: “Kieran Potts didn’t go to get help – he bought a crate of lager instead.”

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Jurors were shown CCTV of the accused leaving Mr Ryan's home and gesticulating angriliy as he walked up the street towards his father and they had briefly fought inside the flat.

A neighbour reported hearing someone shouting - “I’ve just knocked Norman out now I’m going to get you, you n****’.

Ms Beattie said the shouting was being done by a male, believed to be Potts, and said his manner was ‘cocky’.

Mr Potts senior returned to his friend's flat to check on him and found him unconscious on the floor with blood on his face.

She said: "He kicked the door and got into the house. He saw Norman was lying motionless and making a sound like he was snoring.

"He put him in the recovery position and called 999. He was still there when the ambulance arrived and waited for the police."

Jurors heard how the injuries were consistent with Mr Ryan being punched, kicked and stamped on.

Potts, of Moffatt Road, Hartlepool, has pleaded not guilty to murder.

The trial continues.