A VICTIM lay dying on the pavement for more than an hour before paramedics were called, a court heard.
Brian Morl, 41, is accused of pushing dad-of-two Gareth Phillips over, during a row in a South Tyneside street.
Mr Phillips, 29, fractured his skull in the fall, and died in hospital of “severe traumatic brain injury”.
Morl, of Thames Road, Hebburn, denies manslaughter, and is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.
Prosecutor Alastair MacDonald told the court how neighbour June O’Hagan, saw the men – along with Mr Phillips’s girlfriend – standing outside Morl’s home in the early hours of January 8.
Mr MacDonald told jurors: “She was able to tell from the manner in which all three were behaving, each person was drunk.
“Though she could tell an argument was taking place, she was unable to say what the subject of the argument was.
“She could, however, see there were raised voices and swearing.
“Of the three people, she formed the view that Mr Morl was the most angry of the three.
“He was gesturing with his hands, he was shouting.”
Mr MacDonald said the neighbour saw Morl push Mr Phillips in the chest “with force”.
The court was told Mr Phillips lost his balance and stumbled backwards, hitting his head on a drain cover in the road with a “sickening crack”.
Mr MacDonald added: “After that, he lay without moving from the position in which he had landed.
“Though Mrs O’Hagan heard sounds of arguing, she could not say what was being said.”
The court heard while Mr Phillips, who is from Jarrow, lay fatally injured on the road, Morl went to a neighbour’s house, while Mr Phillips’ and Morl’s girlfriend tried to rouse the injured man, and moved him off the road and onto the pavement.
Mr MacDonald added: “It is a regrettable feature in this case, an ambulance was not summoned for at least an hour after Mr Phillips had been injured.”
Mr Phillips was treated at the scene before he was taken to South Tyneside District Hospital, and then on to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, where he later died.
Morl was arrested shortly after, and told police: “I know what this is about, it was an accident, he fell over.”
Morl told officers while being interviewed, he and Mr Phillips had “had a good drink”, and he did not know the reason they ended up outside.
Mr MacDonald told jurors the prosecution case is that Morl had been “aggressive and drunk” when he pushed Mr Phillips with “considerable force”.
He added: “It is not part of the crown’s case that the defendant intended to kill Mr Phillips or cause him really serious harm.
“It is, however, the crown’s submission that the defendant intentionally and forcefully assaulted Mr Phillips and that, as a result of the consequences of that assault, he died.”