Login

Register

Login

Register

Exeter University student cleared of deliberately fracturing a man’s skull during drunken fight | #students | #parents | #parenting | #parenting | #kids


An Exeter University student is free to carry on his studies after being found not guilty of deliberately fracturing a drunken man’s skull in a fight.

Hugo McDonald was cleared of causing grievous bodily harm with intent by a jury at Exeter Crown Court after a three-day trial at which he said he acted in the heat of the moment.

He had already admitted the less serious offence of inflicting grievous bodily harm and was given a suspended jail sentence which will enable him to continue with his psychology course.

Read more:Man dies after three-vehicle crash in Tiverton

Judge Peter Johnson said he hoped the university will allow him to start his third year when courses resume next month.

He said: “It would be entirely appropriate for him to continue so he can put this behind him and carry on living a law-abiding life.”

McDonald’s former housemate David Birley, who dropped out of his politics, philosophy and economics course after the incident, was found not guilty of affray.

The jury took only an hour to reach their decisions after hearing from both defendants that they had been attacked by two other drunken masters’ degree students after leaving the Lemon Grove student club at around 2.20am.

They had both spent the night drinking with fellow players from the University Engineers rugby team and Birley wore a shark costume for some of the night as a forfeit for not drinking fast enough.

The rules of the rugby club required all students taking part to drink 10 cans of beer or lager before leaving their halls of residence to meet up at a pub and moving on to the Lemon Grove.

The judge described the evening’s activity as a kind of initiation ceremony.


The victim of the attack was postgraduate student Matthew Jackson, who had spent the night drinking with his friend Mark Rose at the Lemon Grove.

They left at 2.20am on Sunday October 20, 2019, and CCTV showed a series of encounters between them and a group of three freshers comprising of McDonald, Birley, and Matthew Lee, who originates from Hong Kong.

The clashes ended with a fight on a path about 200 metres from the Lemon Grove in which Birley knocked out Mr Jackson with a single punch and McDonald then kicked him on the ground.

Mr Lee told the jury that they had all been attacked by Mr Jackson and Mr Rose and that he had suffered repeated racial abuse.

McDonald, aged 19 of Portland Street, Exeter, admitted causing grievous bodily harm but denied the far more serious charge of doing so with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Birley, aged 25, of Kings Street, Exeter, denied affray.

Both were found not guilty.

McDonald was jailed for a year, suspended for 12 months with 100 hours unpaid community work and £200 costs for the charge he pleaded guilty to.

The judge told McDonald: “You had drunk heavily at this initiation ceremony, if it can be called that, at which you were obliged to drink ten cans of lager before you went out.

“I am entirely satisfied that the complainant Mr Jackson and his friend Mr Rose were the aggressors and they attacked you and caused injuries to Mr Birley’s face.

“You can see what happened on the CCTV. You were making your way rather drunkenly back to your halls of residence and it seems Mr Jackson and Mr Rose followed you before running towards you in a form of attack.

“Blows were struck and the significant one was by Mr Birley, who struck a knock out punch.

“What happened thereafter will live with you for a long time.

“While you cannot remember the kick, I have no doubt the images from the CCTV are indelibly imprinted on your mind.

“I take into account your remorse, your good character and, despite your intelligence, the immaturity you showed that night in getting as drunk as you did.”

David Birley is accused of a violent attack at Exeter University (Irving of Exeter)
David Birley is accused of a violent attack at Exeter University (Irving of Exeter)

Miss Fiona Elder, defending, said McDonald has undertaken online courses to try to understand why he behaved as he did that night and to learn about the dangers of alcohol.

She said: “He made an error but has tried in every way to atone for that error.

“He has lived a proper, blameless and good life, apart from this incident, and shown a proper reaction to what he did.”

During the trial, McDonald told the jury he had just turned 18 at the time, and was living away from his home in West London for the first time.

His father is a solicitor and his mother a primary school teacher.

He said: “It was quite shocking for me when I found out how seriously he was injured. I don’t feel great about it.

“I feel awful about what he has been through.

“I felt like I was reacting to what was happening. It was all so quick.

“I didn’t want him to be seriously hurt, no I didn’t. I wasn’t thinking. It just happened so quick and it was a reaction.”

He said he is still studying for his degree and got a 2:1 mark in his second year exams.

Birley, whose parents are both doctors, and whose mother is an adviser to the Welsh government, said he acted solely in self defence.

He said: “It was entirely self-defence. I tried to exhaust all non-violent options.

“I tried to push them away and create distance. Mr Rose was very much intent on following us and stalked us from the club.

“I had no other option but to use force. I was not going to take any more anger and abuse and I was aware of the potential risk to Hugo and Matthew Lee.”

Get the best stories about the things you love most curated by us and delivered to your inbox every day. Choose what you love here

.  .  .  .  .  .  . .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   .   .   .    .    .   .   .   .   .   .  .   .   .   .  .  .   .  .





Source link

Leave a Reply

Shqip Shqip አማርኛ አማርኛ العربية العربية English English Français Français Deutsch Deutsch Português Português Русский Русский Español Español

National Cyber Security Consulting App

 https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1521390354

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nationalcybersecuritycom.wpapp


Ads

NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY RADIO

Ads

ALEXA “OPEN NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY RADIO”

National Cyber Security Radio (Podcast) is now available for Alexa.  If you don't have an Alexa device, you can download the Alexa App for free for Google and Apple devices.   

nationalcybersecurity.com

FREE
VIEW