Wales

Colin Payne guilty of Mark Bloomfield pub row murder

Mark Bloomfield Image copyright Family Photo
Image caption Mark Bloomfield died two days after being found injured outside a pub in Swansea

A martial arts expert has been found guilty of murdering a charity worker after a row in a pub.

Mark Bloomfield, 54, who had previously worked as a special assistant to Mother Theresa, was found injured outside the Full Moon pub on High Street in Swansea in July.

He died two days later.

Colin Payne, 61 and from the city, had admitted manslaughter claiming self defence but was found guilty of murder by a jury at Swansea Crown Court.

He will be sentenced on Thursday and was told to expect a life sentence.

The court heard Payne previously admitted perverting the course of justice by watching CCTV footage of the murder from behind the bar, ripping the computer out and throwing it over the back wall of the pub - though police were able to retrieve it.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Colin Payne tried to destroy CCTV footage of the murder

The jury found Payne guilty of murder after deliberating for less than an hour.

The trial had heard he followed Mr Bloomfield out of the pub and knocked him to the floor after a can of alcohol held by the charity worker touched Payne's partner's back - all of which was caught on the pub's CCTV.

After Payne was found guilty, the court was told he was convicted of common assault in 2009 when he grabbed a hotel employee by the throat, and of affray for an incident involving his ex-wife last year for which he received a six-month sentence.

The court was also told about an incident the night before the murder at the same pub, for which Payne was not charged after no criminal convictions were brought against him, when he grabbed the throat of another man at the bar until he fell to the ground unconscious.

The court was disrupted as a person in the public gallery said this was "all for the papers", before addressing the convicted directly: "Colin, I loves you" and leaving the courtroom. 

The defence chose not to present any evidence during the trial and Payne did not testify.

In a police interview, Payne said he "didn't want anything like this to happen".

"If I could turn the clock back, believe me I would. There's not a day goes by that I don't regret what I did," he said.

Christopher Clee QC, prosecuting, earlier told the jury Payne was not acting in self defence, despite initially claiming so in a statement to police.

"At no stage was he involved with a fight with Mark Bloomfield. He was unlawfully assaulted inside and outside the pub by the defendant."

The court was told a leaflet at Payne's home advertised his services as a martial arts expert.

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