Cambridgeshire

Benyamin Hussain death trial: Accused told people to 'calm down'

Benyamin Hussain Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Benyamin Hussain, from Watford, was on a night out in Cambridge when he died after being punched to the ground, a jury heard

A rugby player accused of killing a teen during an argument said he told people to "calm down", a court heard.

Benyamin Hussain, 18, died from a "catastrophic brain injury" after he was punched by Hamish Daniel in Cambridge early on 15 November 2018.

Mr Daniel, 24, of Redston Road, Crouch End, London, claims he acted in self-defence and denies manslaughter.

He told Cambridge Crown Court at one point Mr Hussain was "getting right up into the face" of another man.

Jurors heard that Mr Daniel had played a rugby match for Cambridge Saxons before he and a group connected to the team went on a night out to the Revolution bar.

The court has previously heard that at about 03:00 GMT there was "antagonism" outside between two groups, one containing Mr Daniel and the other Mr Hussain, who was from Watford.

Image caption Benyamin Hussain was punched at a bus stop near the Grand Arcade shopping centre in Cambridge, the court heard

The groups separated and walked down opposite sides of St Andrew's Street, the court heard.

Two of Mr Daniel's group of five crossed the road, and the "other two realised it was getting quite heated" and headed over, Mr Daniels told jurors.

Mr Daniel said he then followed, describing the noise levels as "loud" and that it was "obviously aggressive, intimidating".

At one point Mr Daniel put out his hands and said he "intended to split" Mr Hussain and another man up because he was "getting right up into [the other man's] face".

Mr Daniel said he had been attacked walking home from a night out at Revolution bar in March 2017.

Asked by his barrister Orlando Pownall QC why he did not walk away from the argument, he replied: "I could have been attacked in the same scenario as before in Cambridge.

"That was very much on my mind."

Prosecutors said Mr Daniel gave Mr Hussain a punch which "effectively knocked him off his feet to the ground" and he suffered the fatal injuries when the back of his head hit the pavement.

During police interview Mr Daniel said he "thought if he didn't hit Mr Hussain he would be hit himself".

The trial continues.

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