Man accused of killing cousin with concrete block

Photo: Ian Britton

A man died from a head injury after his cousin threw a concrete block at his head at a family party in Coulsdon, a court heard yesterday.

Peter Atwell, 32, of Bermondsey is accused of murdering Paul Coleman, 35, of Royston Avenue, Wallington, with a breezeblock after a party at Mr Coleman’s father’s house in St Andrews Road in the early hours of August 14 last year.

Atwell ran almost the length of a football pitch to hurl the block at Paul Coleman, jurors were told. Bystanders thought the block had hit Coleman as afterwards he fell to the ground and lost consciousness. But after he had died from brain damage, 36 hours after the incident, a pathologist said there was no sign of the concrete striking his head.

Prosecutors argued that it does not matter whether or not the block struck him. They say Atwell must have intended serious injury when he threw the block at Coleman at close range.

Jeremy Donne, QC, said: “The block must have passed so close to the victim’s head that everyone thought it had actually hit it.”

The cousins had been to a family party in Coulsdon, and a row broke out when they left in the early hours of the morning.

Atwell denies murder but has admitted manslaughter. The trial at the Old Bailey continues.

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