Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Benji's Death a Tragic Coincidence Brawl Trial Is Told

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Benji's Death a Tragic Coincidence Brawl Trial Is Told

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Barley Court reporter

A JURY was told that new-dad Benji Bolsenbroek's death on the night he was involved in a mass brawl was a "tragic coincidence".

Rod Hunt, defending Paul Kime, who was fighting with Mr Bolsenbroek on the night he died, said there has been an "agenda" against Kime.

Kime and seven others are on trial at Teesside Crown Court accused of violent disorder in connection with the brawl at the Park Hotel in Linthorpe, Middlesbrough last October.

The prosecution does not seek to attribute responsibility for Mr Bolsenbroek's death on any of the defendants.

Yesterday each defendant's barrister gave their closing speeches to the jury.

Mr Hunt told the jury: "Defendant after defendant has praised Benji Bolsenbroek. What is the relevance of defendants telling you what a great guy he was? The agenda is clear. They do not like Paul Kime.

"In their minds they believe he is responsible for the tragic coincidence of his death after this. They will not let it lie. They have praised him and praised him for no relevant purpose."

He said Paul Kime, 26, of Daleville Close, Beechwood, was "attacked" by Mr Bolsenbroek, who was celebrating the birth of his son, and his "drink and cocaine-fuelled friends". Mr Hunt said Kime holding Mr Bolsenbroek down "had to be done to stop him fighting".

Peter Makepeace defending Cain Conroy, Mr Bolsenbroek's brother, said Conroy, 37, of Slaley Close, New Marske, was a "totally decent man" who has "been to hell".

Mr Makepeace said Conroy struck out in self defence and said it was a lie that he made the first act of violence.

He described Paul Kime's claim as "ludicrous" that when he put his arms up at the end of the fight "like a boxing cheer" that he was not celebrating.

Mr Watkins, defending Blaine McCarthy, 22, of Blackhall Sands, Acklam, said he stepped into the fight as Mr Bolsenbroek's group had come under attack.

He said the trigger for the attack was Paul Kime coming in from the garden in an "aggressive manner".

He said McCarthy is an honest man and said he punched, pulled and stamped on Paul Kime, as he was pulling Benji Bolsenbroek. …

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