Craig Tilbury killed victim with single punch

Craig Tilbury leaves the High Court in Glasgow Craig Tilbury killed James Simpson with a blow to the side of the head

A helicopter engineer is facing jail after he admitted killing a man with a single punch.

Craig Tilbury, 25, from Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire, pled guilty to the culpable homicide of James Simpson, who died after being hit on 16 June.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that the two men had argued at the Crown Bar in Blairgowrie, Perthshire.

Judge Norman Ritchie QC deferred sentence on Tilbury until next month and granted him bail.

Advocate depute Bill McVicar told the court that Mr Simpson, who was 44 and lived with his partner and her two children in Coupar Angus, was in Blairgowrie to meet his father and spend Father's Day with him.

Start Quote

The force of the blow was not out of the ordinary for what might be encountered in a typical fight”

End Quote Bill McVicar Advocate depute

They had a meal and a drink together and Mr Simpson left his father and went to the Crown Bar at about 22:00.

During his visit to the pub, he was asked to leave but as he did so he made a lunge at Tilbury and struck him on the chest.

Mr McVicar told the court: "After this incident, the accused was clearly angry and wound up.

"At about 11.05pm he told his girlfriend he was going to the toilet, but instead went outside."

Mr Simpson was standing on the other side of Public Street in Blairgowrie at a taxi rank.

The prosecutor said Tilbury ignored a barman's pleas to "leave it" and instead approached Mr Simpson, hitting him on the left side of the head.

Mr Simpson immediately fell to the ground and Tilbury walked away.

'Deeply affected'

Tilbury told his girlfriend: "I hit him because he hit me, so self defence."

Shortly afterwards Tilbury handed himself into the police and admitted what he had done.

James Simpson was taken to Ninewells hospital in Dundee but was pronounced dead on 17 June after suffering a bleed on the brain.

Mr McVicar told the court: "The brain injury was inevitably fatal and caused by a single punch.

"The force of the blow was not out of the ordinary for what might be encountered in a typical fight.

"The pathologist was of the view that the injury here was in that sense an uncommon consequence of a fairly common scenario. He also said such injuries are relatively uncommon."

Defence QC Donald Finlay said: "Mr Tilbury is deeply affected by the consequences of his actions.

"He has a profound degree of remorse that what was an evening out for all concerned should have ended in such utterly tragic consequences."

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