A man who threw a punch at a Doncaster teacher the night before he died of a brain injury was acting in self-defence, a court heard.
Sheffield Crown Court was told how after being arrested in connection with the death of 24-year-old Lewis Siddall in August 2015, Blue Horrobin told police via a pre-prepared statement that he had hit Mr Siddall because he ‘had a good feeling the man was going to hit me or attack me in some way’.
However, Horrobin of Highfield Road, Askern now says he does not know if he hit Mr Siddall during the incident in VDKA bar in August 13, 2015, because he is unsure of whether the punch he threw made contact with the young teacher.
Giving evidence during day five of the manslaughter trial, Horrobin, aged 22, said this afternoon: “Because it happened so fast I didn’t know if I had hit him or not, he was a bit lanky.”
Under cross-examination from prosecutor Sharon Beattie, Horrobin initially told the court that he could not tell the difference between punching the air and punching a person because he had ‘never punched anyone before’.
But when Ms Beattie asked Horrobin to ‘carefully consider’ his assertion that he had never punched anyone before, the 22-year-old said he wanted to ‘backtrack’ and admitted to lying to the jury.
When his defence barrister Adrian Reynolds asked Horrobin why he had lied, he said: “Because I didn’t want it to make out like I was going out to fight.”
Horrobin also told the court that he believed he would need to defend himself from Mr Siddall because he thought he had seen him ‘whispering’ about him on entering the club.
He said he believed he was about to be under attack because he saw Mr Siddall was ‘bouncing around the dancefloor’ and that Mr Siddall had his fists clenched when the altercation between the two men took place.
When asked how he felt about Mr Siddall's death, Horrobin said: "I am sorry for the death of Lewis Siddall. I am saying that because it's true, because it's from the heart."
The court was shown CCTV footage from the evening of August 13, 2015 that appeared to show Horrobin being held back by his cousin Luke Reed on a number of occasions and in a number of places across Doncaster town centre including Silver Street and on Lazarus Court.
Ms Beattie claimed Mr Reed was seen holding Horrobin back because he knew the 22-year-old was wanting to 'start a fight' with someone, and he wanted to prevent him from getting into trouble.
Horrobin denied being out for a fight at any point during the night, including the incident involving Mr Siddall, but said he could not remember what had happened on Lazarus Court when asked under cross-examination.
The court was also told that Horrobin was arrested and placed into custody that evening, after being aggressive to people outside Alpha Mini Cabs and Mint bar in Doncaster.
Ms Beattie said: "The man in the taxi office said he was going to call the police, and you said 'we're going to smash all those f****** up'."
She added: "And what about when you got to the custody suite, when you became abusive towards PC Halliday because he'd had the temerity to arrest you?"
Horrobin admitted his behaviour at the taxi office 'wasn't good,' but said he could not remember being abusive towards PC Halliday at the custody suite.
Mr Siddall was found dead in his bed with a fatal brain injury just before 5.30am on Friday, August 14, 2015.
Horrobin is on trial for one charge of manslaughter, relating to Mr Siddall's death, which he denies.
The trial continues.