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Friend tells murder jury of attack

PUBLISHED: 15:09 10 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:20 03 March 2010

A MURDER trial has heard how a man helped his injured friend from an Ipswich nightclub before himself being subjected to a street attack lasting ten minutes.

By LISA BAXTER

At Norwich Crown Court

A MURDER trial heard today how a man helped his injured friend from an Ipswich nightclub before himself being subjected to a street attack lasting ten minutes.

Lewis Carroll, of Crocus Close, Ipswich, and Steven Lowe, 24, of Spring Road, Ipswich, deny murdering Phil Hoi Phat Lui on August 23 last year but admit assault causing actual bodily harm to John Catlow on August 14 last year.

Another man Toby Woods, 27, of Cosmeston Street, Cardiff, Wales, denies a charge of violent disorder on the same date.

Mr Catlow told the jury at Norwich Crown Court how 'Mr Lui could "not stand up by himself", as he aided his pal from Kartouche.

Mr Catlow told how the pair walked towards Chancery Road and saw a man running across the road towards them.

Courtenay Griffiths QC, representing Lewis Carroll, one of two men accused of Mr Lui's murder, asked if Mr Catlow had laughed at the running man. Mr Catlow denied that he had.

Mr Catlow said he had been subjected to an attack of kicks and punches including a blow to the temple which "pretty much stunned me straight away."

Mr Griffiths suggested to Mr Catlow that "when that man came alongside you, he was either tripped or fell to the floor, either by you or Phil.

"Then when he got to his feet, you were laughing and that's why he said, 'do you think this is funny?'"

Mr Catlow said he had not tripped the man or laughed.

Mr Griffiths told Mr Catlow that Carroll admitted assaulting him later that night at Ipswich Hospital and had pleaded guilty to the charge and wished to apologise to him.

Mr Catlow said he had never seen the man who attacked him in the street before, neither had he seen him earlier in Kartouche.

Reading from a statement that Mr Catlow made to police last August, Mr Griffiths referred to events earlier that evening in the club.

Mr Catlow had told an officer how he "teased" a man with short spiky hair who asked him for cigarettes by offering the packet and then pulling it back, he said. Mr Catlow said he had never seen that man before.

Another man then walked over, put his hand on Mr Catlow's cheek and lifted his face before "punching down on him", Mr Griffiths read.

That man was Lowe, Mr Catlow told the court.

Mr Griffiths asked if he knew that Mr Lui had owed Lowe money after once losing to him in a game of pool.

"Yes," Mr Catlow replied.

Mr Catlow told the court there were parts of his statement he did not remember giving to police.

"At the time I had just been unconscious three times and I can't remember it," he said.

Earlier Carroll was accused of killing Mr Lui and biting off part of his victim's nose after stamping on his head and repeatedly kicking him.

Carroll, 32, then ran off after leaving student 'Phil' Hoi Phat Lui unconscious on the pavement near Kartouche nightclub, it was alleged at Norwich Crown Court yesterday.

A doctor carrying out a post mortem examination on Mr Lui's body found bite marks to his nose which medical experts matched to Carroll's dental impressions, the jury was told.

Carroll had earlier attacked Mr Lui inside the Ipswich nightclub with Lowe and Woods after a joke about cigarettes on August 14 last year, it was claimed.

Mr Lui, a Suffolk College, student was taken to Ipswich Hospital in a coma after the attack but died on August 23 in Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge.

During yesterday's proceedings the court was told that Mr Lui and Mr Catlow were taken to hospital shortly after Carroll was admitted for a nose injury after being punched by a clubber.

Carroll became aggressive towards hospital staff and punched Mr Catlow as he got off the ambulance after travelling with Mr Lui.

It was alleged Carroll called police days after the attack and said "Lowie did it", and after being arrested in Kent he declined to comment to police about the murder.

Lowe told friends and a pub landlady that he was involved in the fight inside the club but not outside but later claimed to police that he was not involved.

The trial continues.

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