Nelson teen admits manslaughter charge


A 16-year-old boy is facing a custodial sentence after he admitted the manslaughter of a man he attacked on the street in Nelson.

The youngster, who cannot be named due to his age, pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of 63-year-old David Hutchinson on July 4th last year when he appeared at Preston Crown Court today (Wednesday).

The prosecution said the attack last summer had apparently been unprovoked.

Mr Jeremy Grout-Smith (prosecuting) suggested the victim must have appeared vulnerable. An incident had taken place on the street after 10pm.

“The defendant picked an argument with the man on the street and struck him very hard to the face, fracturing his jaw and causing him to fall backwards onto the pavement. He caused a fatal blow”.

The guilty plea was entered at a preliminary hearing. The youth has no previous convictions.

His barrister, Miss Nicola Gatto, asked for bail to be continued. She said the boy, who is at college, had barely left the family home since.

“A very tight rein has been kept on him. His family are under no illusions he faces a significant custodial sentence”.

The case was adjourned to February 21st.

Judge Stuart Baker remanded him in custody, saying: “It is inevitable the defendant will face a custodial sentence.

“He has pleaded guilty to an offence of manslaughter. It is an extremely grave offence, an unprovoked attack upon a man, resulting in the wholly unnecessary injury to the victim, resulting in his death.”