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Witness in trial of Ben Worden for Paul Gunner murder denies landing fatal blow
A WITNESS in the Paul Gunner murder trial has denied it was him who struck the killer punch.
James Parsons admits punching a man of a similar description to Mr Gunner in the early hours of October 16 last year outside the Charcoal Grill kebab shop in Bexley Village.
Ben Worden, 33, is on trial accused of murdering the lighting technician who was out celebrating his 32nd birthday in Bexley Village when he fatally cracked his head on the pavement following a blow to the head.
Although Worden and Mr Parsons, admit hitting Mr Gunner once each, both deny landing a second fatal punch in the kebab shop row.
Parsons, who is not charged with any offence, claimed he hit a man matching Mr Gunner’s description in self-defence, according to a police statement which was read out to Inner London Crown Court yesterday.
In the police interview Mr Parsons said the blow he struck “couldn’t have been that hard”.
He added: “I think it was just him coming on to it because he wasn’t expecting it.”
In a statement to police he said: “I would never wish a person to die like this and I sympathise with Mr Gunner’s family.”
Mr Parsons was arrested at his home on the evening of October 16 after Worden had earlier handed himself in to police.
The pair were joined by Matthew French on a Saturday night pub crawl which was followed by the altercation in which Mr Gunner is alleged to have called Worden a “big nosed c**t”.
Mr French, a school friend of Worden’s, also took to the witness box in front of the jury of seven men and five women.
He claimed he and Worden had backed away from the incident when “out of the corner of his eye” he saw Mr Parsons’ “body adjust” in order to strike Mr Gunner to the ground.
Mr French said: “It just seemed like his legs went from underneath him.”
But prosecutor Timothy Cray put it to Mr French that the only punch he actually recalled seeing that night was an earlier blow Worden admits to landing on Mr Gunner.
The trial continues.