Man's head 'kicked like football': trial
AN ALLEGED killer kicked the head of a teenager with the power of a footballer taking a free-kick, a jury heard yesterday.Lee Harvey, 30, of Constable Road, Sudbury, denies the murder of Adam Zulewski, 19, following an alleged attack in Braintree last November.
AN ALLEGED killer kicked the head of a teenager with the power of a footballer taking a free-kick, a jury heard yesterday.
Lee Harvey, 30, of Constable Road, Sudbury, denies the murder of Adam Zulewski, 19, following an alleged attack in Braintree last November.
Harvey and a group of friends and former workmates had been at Chicago Rock Café for a leaving party at Freeport Village in Braintree, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.
Mr Zulewski, of Coggeshall Road, Braintree, was also at the club to celebrate his stepbrother's birthday with a number of other friends.
Peter Lodder, QC, prosecuting, said Harvey and a group of about 10 people had drunk a large quantity of alcohol and at some point the DJ had asked them to calm down.
There had been half-price cocktails on offer throughout the evening, Mr Lodder said, but Mr Zulewski was "not drunk or was at worst tipsy".
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The club shut at about 1.30am and both groups of friends left and made arrangements to get home.
Mr Zulewski decided to leave his car at Freeport and collect it in the morning. He and a friend went to collect some belongings from the vehicle and noticed three men, including Harvey, looking at them.
Mr Lodder said as they returned to their friends, Mr Zulewski said to Harvey, "have a good night mate?", to which Harvey replied, "yeah, we did" but then walked over and punched him in the face.
The prosecutor said the punch had caused Mr Zulewski to fall to the ground. He alleged a witness had seen Harvey kick Mr Zulewski in the face and neck area with the force a "footballer would use when taking a free-kick".
Harvey kicked his head twice and then kicked him once in the ribs before a further three times to the face, it was alleged.
The defendant and his two friends then left the scene in a minicab and stayed in a house in Braintree.
Mr Zulewski was taken by ambulance to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford. He was unconscious on arrival and found to have severe head trauma and was transferred to the Royal Free Hospital, London.
On December 1, Mr Zulewski, who had remained in a critical condition, had acute heart failure and died.
Mr Lodder outlined how in police interviews Harvey recalled singing karaoke and drinking Bacardi Breezers, Smirnoff Ice and vodka and Red Bull and said he could remember hitting Mr Zulewski in the face, but could not remember kicking him.
Harvey told police Mr Zulewski had "hit him repeatedly", but Mr Lodder said to the jury they "may feel this is not something supported by any other witnesses".
Harvey claimed he had felt threatened by Mr Zulewski's eye contact.
Mr Lodder told the jury that in a second police interview Harvey had accepted that Mr Zulewski's injuries were caused by him alone.
A post-mortem by a Home Office pathologist found two bruises in particular, one above Mr Zulewski's left ear and another on the left side of his skull.
Mr Lodder said Mr Zulewski's head had been jolted in the alleged attack: "It is the firm view of expert evidence that the head injury was not the result of the fall."
Mr Lodder said DNA bloodstains found on Harvey's right shoe had been examined and DNA matched with Mr Zulewski. Blood found on Harvey's jeans was also found to be that of Mr Zulewski, he alleged.
He said: "Lee Harvey may not have intended to kill Adam Zulewski, but it is the case of the Crown that the kicks to his head and the injuries from those kicks led to Adam Zulewski's death."
The trial continues.