Former soldier 'dropped like a stone' in bottle attack

Published
image copyrightDerbyshire Police
image captionJoseph Robotham had been on a night out when he was hit with the glass beer bottle

A man accused of murdering an ex-soldier who was hit with a glass bottle on a night out was heard saying "he deserved it", a court was told.

Joseph Robotham, 23, was struck outside Vibe nightclub in Chesterfield in the early hours of 8 February last year.

Derby Crown Court heard he became unconscious and fell to the ground "like a stone", hitting his head. He died in hospital the next day.

Connor Rose, 25, has admitted manslaughter but denies murder.

'Aggressive grip'

Katherine Goddard QC, prosecuting, said Mr Robotham had been on a night out with his friends to celebrate good news after a cancer scare.

Later he met up with his girlfriend in Vibe when an argument developed with a man - a friend of Connor Rose's.

Ms Goddard said Mr Robotham and the man threw blows but no contact was made and they were ejected by the venue's security staff.

They were then seen on CCTV "squaring up to each other".

Ms Goddard said until this point, Mr Rose had not been involved but he left the club holding a beer bottle in "an aggressive grip" and "lunged" at Mr Robotham, striking him in the face.

"Joe, according to witnesses, was instantly rendered unconscious by that first blow and dropped to the ground like a stone," she said.

"He fell quickly, his head struck the pavement, causing the injuries that were to prove fatal to him."

She said Mr Rose was heard saying "he deserved it" before he ran off, chased by bystanders.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionMr Robotham was attacked outside Vibe in Holywell Street, Chesterfield

The court was told Mr Robotham suffered a fractured skull and swelling on the brain, causing irreversible brain damage.

Ms Goddard said the jury had to determine whether the defendant, of Baden Powell Road, Chesterfield, intended to cause serious harm when he struck the blow.

She said Mr Rose's grip on the bottle was "wholly inconsistent with the way anyone would hold it to drink from it" and that changing it "to use it in an offensive and aggressive way is evidence of his intention".

"When striking Joe from the blind side with the speed and force that he used, and the weapon he must have known was in his hand, the prosecution say he must have had the intention to cause really serious harm," she added.

The trial continues.

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