A drunk, baby-faced teenager who knocked a man unconscious in a violent street attack has been acquitted of his murder.
Kelsea O’Hara was 19 when she hit Andrew Turner, 58, after he refused to apologize for bumping into his boyfriend in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.
Mr. Turner fell to the ground after being hit by O’Hara, hitting his head on the ground and knocking him unconscious.
He died six days later in September last year while Humberside Police were launching a murder investigation.
Hull Crown Court heard O’Hara, now 20, smack Mr Turner after he failed to apologize to his pal, leaving him a five to seven inch cut on the back of his head.
However, experts told the court that O’Hara was not responsible for her death, even though his victim died so soon after the violent attack.
She pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to a six-month suspended sentence and a curfew by Judge Sophie McKone.
Andrew Espley, prosecutor, said Mr Turner went out for drinks with a friend in Bridlington, where O’Hara and four of his friends were also drinking.
Mr. Turner’s friend knew one of O’Hara’s friends and he apologized to him for an incident that had happened a few weeks earlier.
O’Hara confronted Mr Turner on Marlborough Terrace around 1.30am and asked if he would apologize to one of his friends he had accidentally kicked, but he declined.
Mr Espley said: “O’Hara threw her purse on the ground and lunged at Mr Turner, punching him once in the face and knocking him unconscious as he fell to the ground and hitting him on the head as he fell. ”
“He tried to get up when he regained consciousness but couldn’t. Mr Turner didn’t die until September 3, so she wouldn’t have been asked about the cause of death.
“The punch appears to have been impulsive and spontaneous, and it was a punch. »
Police and paramedics rushed to the scene, but Mr Turner refused to go to hospital and his injuries were not initially believed to be life-threatening.
O’Hara was arrested and did not comment during the police interview and was not questioned further as Mr Turner was still alive.
Hull Crown Court heard her death had “nothing to do with” O’Hara, which was confirmed by a pathologist and neuropathologist.
Dale Brook said O’Hara was originally charged with intentional aggravated assault, but denied it.
Mr Brook added: “She expressed sincere and genuine regret for what she did that night and what happened to the victim.
“It hurt him a lot. Of course, she thought a lot about whether she was the cause of what happened to the victim. It’s a tragic case.
“She behaved inexcusably, which had serious consequences for everyone involved.
“It was out of character and it’s likely she learned a very painful lesson from what happened that night. »
O’Hara received a six-month suspended sentence, a six-month 7pm-6am curfew and 20 days of rehabilitation.
O’Hara Judge Sophie McKone said: “Mr Turner has since died but I make it clear that you are not responsible.
“There is evidence from two experts, a pathologist and a neuropathologist, who have 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 he met a friend of yours.
“He may have refused to apologize, but that was no reason to use violence and hit someone because you didn’t like it. That’s absolutely no excuse. »