A jury has heard how an argument between a father and son resulted in the violent death of a vulnerable alcoholic.

Kieran Potts became embroiled in a short-lived brawl with his father Carl while they were drinking Norman Ryan’s Hartlepool flat.

Carl Potts and his partner, Samantha Coulson, left shortly afterwards and Kieran followed them out into the street hurling abuse and threats in their wake.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Potts junior returned to the flat of his 55-year-old drinking buddy but was again back in the street boasting that - “I’ve just knocked Norman out now I’m going to get you, you n****’.

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Jurors heard from Ms Coulson how the father and son had rowed about her partner’s mother – Kieran’s grandmother – before a couple of punches were thrown and she asked to leave as her young child was with her.

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

Sharon Beattie KC, prosecuting, quizzed the witness about the nature of the relationship between the father and son and what impact alcohol had on them.

Ms Coulson said: “He (Kieran) is a lovely lad without drink and aggressive with drink.”

The witness told the jury that Mr Ryan didn’t become involved in the argument and was in good health when they left his flat on Troutpool Close.

When asked to describe Kieran’s demeanour when he followed them out, Ms Coulson said: “He was shouting at us but we couldn’t hear what he was saying but he was shouting aggressively.”

Mr Ryan suffered bleeding on the brain following a brutal beating in his own flat on August 31, last year, and he died several days later in hospital without regaining consciousness. Kieran Potts is accused of his murder.

Police body-worn camera footage filmed when the arrived on the scene showed Carl Potts telling officers that he believed it was his son who had inflicted his friend’s injuries.

The Northern Echo: Troutpool Close, HartlepoolTroutpool Close, Hartlepool (Image: Google)

Pc John Bussey told the court how didn’t need to ask Mr Potts many questions at the time as he was talking freely.

The officer confirmed that the witness was arrested at the scene in an effort to preserve evidence as ‘not everyone tells the truth to the police’.

John Elvidge KC, representing Kieran Potts, asked the officer whether his client’s father was openly critical of his son. The officer replied: “Yes.”

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Earlier in the trial, jurors heard how the injuries were consistent with Mr Ryan being punched, kicked, and stamped on.

Blood from the alleged victim was found on the trainers of the murder suspect, the court heard.

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

The trial continues.