Kelsea O’Hara threw her purse onto the floor and launched herself at Mr Turner by punching him in the face once and causing him to lose consciousness when he fell to the floor and hit his head
Image: Hull Daily Mail/MEN Media)
A drunken 19-year old has been cleared after killing a 58-year old man she punched in the street during an angry confrontation.
Kelsea O’Hara, then aged 19, viciously knocked Andrew Turner unconscious in the street who fell to the ground, hit his head and died a week later.
Hull Crown Court heard the savage attack happened when O’Hara attacked the man after he didn’t apologize for bumping into her friend, Hull Live reported.
Humberside Police originally launched a murder investigation into the death of 58-year-old Andrew Turner.
But, despite his tragic death so soon after the violent attack, two experts have decided that Kelsea O’Hara, then aged 19, was not responsible.
O’Hara, now 20, of Trinity Road, Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, admitted wounding Mr Turner on August 28.
However, she has been spared jail for the brutal attack and was given a six-month curfew.
Andrew Espley, prosecuting, said that Mr Turner went out for drinks in Bridlington with a friend where O’Hara and four of her friends were also out drinking.
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The friend of Mr Turner knew one of O’Hara’s friends and he apologized to her for an incident a couple of weeks earlier.
At about 1.30am, O’Hara confronted Mr Turner in Marlborough Terrace and asked him if he would apologize to one of her friends, whom he had accidentally walked into, but he refused.
“O’Hara threw her purse onto the floor and launched herself at Mr Turner, punching him in the face once and causing him to lose consciousness when he fell to the floor, hitting his head in the process when he fell,” said Mr Espley .
Mr Turner, of Bridlington, suffered a cut of five to seven inches to the back of his head and was bleeding. “He tried to get up when he regained consciousness but he could not do so,” said Mr Espley. Police and paramedics arrived but Mr Turner refused to go to hospital.
O’Hara, who was 19 at the time, was arrested the next day. She made no comment during the police interview.
“Mr Turner did not die until September 3 so she would not have been asked about causing his death,” said Mr Espley. “The punch seems to have been impulsive and spontaneous and it was one punch.”
There was no evidence that the death of Mr Turner had “anything to do with” O’Hara and this had been confirmed after investigations by a pathologist and a neuro-pathologist.
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Dale Brook, mitigating, said it was a single punch and O’Hara had originally been charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent but she had denied this.
“She has expressed heartfelt and genuine remorse for what she did that night and what happened to the victim,” said Mr Brook. “It has taken a substantial toll on her from her.
“She has understandably thought a great deal about whether she is the cause of what happened to the victim. This is a tragic case.”
He said O’Hara, who has no previous convictions, had suffered “stress and trauma” but this was nothing in comparison to what happened to the victim. She spent a night of “young abandon” drinking too much.
“She behaved in an inexcusable way, which had serious consequences for everyone involved,” said Mr Brook. “It was out of character and it is likely that she has learned a very painful lesson as a result of what happened that night.”
The lawyer said his client had “an awful start in life,” and her father and former boyfriend had both been jailed for serious offences.
Judge Sophie McKone told O’Hara: “Mr Turner has since died but I make it absolutely clear that you bear no responsibility for that.
“There is evidence from two experts, a pathologist and a neuro-pathologist, who concluded that your actions did not contribute to his death.
“You were violent towards him. You had been drinking. You asked Mr Turner to apologize because you say that he had bumped into a friend of yours.
“It may be that he refused to apologize but that was no reason to resort to violence and punch somebody because you were not happy about that. It is absolutely no excuse whatsoever.”
O’Hara was given a six-month suspended custodial sentence, a six-month 7pm to 6am curfew and 20 days’ rehabilitation.