Victim died after fall ‘caused by single punch’, court hears

Brian Hill. Photo courtesy of Sussex Police.
Brian Hill. Photo courtesy of Sussex Police.

A 60-year-old man was killed and his brother seriously wounded in a sudden street attack by two men at a Hastings taxi rank, a court has heard this week.

At the beginning of what is expected to be a two-week trial at Lewes Crown Court, the prosection told the court how brothers Brian and Andrew Hill were attacked by 22-year-old Matthew Smith and 24-year-old Elliot Bourdon-Pierre in Havelock Road in the early hours of Friday, February 3.

Elliot Bourdon-Pierre outside Lewes Crown Court. SUS-171116-093103001

Elliot Bourdon-Pierre outside Lewes Crown Court. SUS-171116-093103001

Smith, of Piltdown Close in Hastings, and Bourdon-Pierre, of Udimore Road in Rye, both deny charges of manslaughter and GBH.

The court heard Andrew Hill, then aged 53, was severely wounded in the attack, suffering broken ribs, a punctured lung and a missing tooth. Meanwhile his older brother Brian, 60, suffered a fatal head injury after being knocked down.

Prosecutor Simon Taylor told the court a pathologist found Brian Hill had injuries consistent with a single punch but that his death was caused by an ‘accelerated and unprotected fall on to the back of the head’.

Mr Taylor said the injury was suffered as he fell stunned to the pavement.

Matthew Smith outside Lewes Crown Court. SUS-171116-093051001

Matthew Smith outside Lewes Crown Court. SUS-171116-093051001

The court was shown CCTV footage from a taxi which caught the attack. In the footage Bourdan-Pierre and Smith are seen asking about the cost of the taxi fare shortly before the Hill brothers passed by.

As the brothers passed the taxi, the prosecution say Smith can be heard on the footage calling after them, shouting ‘squint eye’ at one of the brothers.

The men began to argue and shout before the brothers were struck by the younger men. Brian Hill’s head can be heard hitting the ground with an audible thud.

After the attack, the court heard how Bourdan-Pierre and Smith fled towards Hastings Station. At the station the pair hired a taxi to take them to Piltdown Close, which twice drove past the scene of the attack.

The court saw CCTV from inside the taxi, which shows the young men laughing and smirking as police and paramedics pulled up to the scene to treat the brothers.

The trial continues.