Victim was hit by son at barbecue

A BURY ST EDMUNDS woman who died after allegedly being punched in the neck by her husband was accidentally hit earlier in the evening as she tried to break up a fight involving her son, a court has heard.

A BURY ST EDMUNDS woman who died after allegedly being punched in the neck by her husband was accidentally hit earlier in the evening as she tried to break up a fight involving her son, a court has heard.

Joanne Morley, 42, was accidentally hit on the side of the head by her son Brian as she tried to pull him away from another man during a barbeque at her house in Eagle Walk, Bury St Edmunds.

In a statement read to a jury at Ipswich Crown Court a nine-year-old girl who was at the barbeque said she heard a glass smash and then saw Mrs Morley get hit.

The girl, who cannot be identified because of her age described Mrs Morley trying to pull her son away from the other man. “Brian wouldn't let her. Brian just hit her by accident,” said the child.

The court also heard from Mrs Morley's neighbour Jennifer Neary who said she hadn't seen Brian hit his mother but had seen bumps and grazes on her head. “She said it was Brian,” said Mrs Neary.

Before the court is Anthony Morley, 42, who has denied the manslaughter of his wife in June last year.

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It has been alleged that Mrs Morley punched his wife on the neck during a row when they went to bed after the barbeque.

John Farmer, prosecuting, has told the court the alleged blow ruptured an artery in Mrs Morley's neck causing her to quickly lose consciousness and die.

The court heard that Morley had left the house and had spent the night at his office. He later told police he had pushed his wife after she had been drunk and aggressive to him when they went to bed. He denied punching her and said he had no reason to believe she was seriously hurt when he left her.