Manslaughter conviction for man who attacked friend
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A man who inflicted fatal injuries on his friend during a violent attack in his victim’s own home has been convicted of manslaughter following a trial at Swansea Crown Court.
Nathaniel Nuttall, aged 32, of Tenby Court in Monkton, Pembroke, attacked neighbour and friend Lee Thomas in his maisonette – punching him to the floor before stamping on his head ‘several times’ on 13 October 2021.
Nuttall, who lived above his victim, then called for an ambulance.
During the call, when asked if the patient was breathing, Nuttall replied: "He’s still breathing yeah, no he’s unconscious but he’s still breathing."
Nuttall was asked what happened, to which he has responded: "Basically he started on me and I just punched him a few times in the face and stamped on his face several times”.
Following the call, the ambulance service contacted Dyfed-Powys Police, whose officers were first on the scene and found Mr Thomas unconscious in the living floor room, laying in a significant amount of blood.
His face was swollen and his breathing laboured. Paramedics arrived soon after and began working to save him.
At this point, PC Cranmer asked Nuttall what had happened, and he replied: "I f***ing did it". The officer then asked what had gone on and Nuttall said: "I don't know, he was just like this stupid little boy and all this and I just went like pffft, f*** off out my face," while miming a punching action.
Mr Thomas was conveyed to the Intensive Care Unit, University of Wales Hospital, Cardiff by the Wales Air Ambulance with serious head injuries. He subsequently died on the 10th November 2021 having never regained consciousness.
During a police interview, Nuttall provided a prepared statement and initially answered “no comment”, before stating that Mr Thomas had slapped him across the face, which Nuttall said was why he “punched him to the face a few times”, causing him to fall down.
Nuttall claimed he then kicked and stamped on Mr Thomas’ face approximately five times while he was laying on the floor.
When it was put to him, Nuttall accepted his force was excessive and not self-defence.
Officers from Dyfed-Powys Police established that Mr Thomas had a number of underlying health concerns, had limited mobility, often requiring a walking stick to get around, with friends and family saying he was too weak to get into a fight, so would not have started one.
Nuttall was fully aware of Mr Thomas’ deteriorating health and claimed to be an ‘unofficial carer’.
The jury at Swansea Crown Court today returned a verdict of guilty for manslaughter after being unable to return a verdict for murder following a five-day trial.
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Estelle Hopkin-Davies said: “Nuttall tried to argue self-defence but the level of injuries inflicted on his victim, whose head had been stamped on multiple times as he lay defenceless on his living room floor, just didn’t match his claims.
“This was a serious and prolonged attack that resulted in a 41-year-old man’s death.
“What makes this case particularly upsetting is that Nuttall was fully aware of his friend’s underlying health and mobility problems but still went on to viciously assault him.
“We’re pleased to have secured this conviction, which we hope will give some closure to Mr Thomas’ loved ones.
“They have gone through an incredibly difficult time but have done so with dignity, which I commend.
“I would also like to thank my colleagues at Dyfed-Powys Police and the Crown Prosecution Service who have worked incredibly hard to secure this convection.”
Nuttall will be sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Friday, 6 May.