The jury in the murder trial of Hampden Park dad Christopher Poole has today (Tuesday) retired to consider its verdict.
The five men and seven women were sent out after a two-week trial at Lewes Crown Court to decide if two teenagers are guilty of murder or the lesser charge of manslaughter of Mr Poole, a former Ratton School pupil who lived with his partner Penny in Iden Street.
Forty-six-year-old Mr Poole, a manager at Poundland, suffered fatal injuries after being attacked outside the Premier shop in The Hydneye in August last year.
Shane Noble, 19, and a 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, both deny murdering Mr Poole.
Judge Anthony Scott-Gall told the jury during his summing up, “You all need to put out of your mind sympathy, do not be drawn into speculation. You need to bring a clear head to the facts. You alone are the judges.”
The court has heard an argument broke out between Mr Poole and the 15-year-old outside the convenience shop over Mr Poole’s dogs.
Witnesses for the prosecution, including young teenagers and a boy as young as 10, have told the jury how the teenager called out to Noble, who was on the balcony of a flat nearby, for help.
They said Noble ran down to the street outside the store and punched Mr Poole in the back of the head before his 15-year-old co-defendant delivered a second blow. They also said Noble then kicked the victim in the head.
Noble denies kicking Mr Poole in the head but admits he punched Mr Poole to defend his 15-year-old co-defendant. The 15-year-old has told the court he punched Mr Poole to defend himself.
Noble told the court he had punched Mr Poole but used ‘reasonable force’ because he believed his co-defendant was going to be assaulted by Mr Poole. Mr Poole was rushed to hospital but died from severe brain injuries the following day. Noble has been remanded in police custody since his arrest and the 15-year-old on bail.