A MAN killed his older brother after a row over their deceased sibling’s will, a court heard.
Anthony and Michael Marshall fell out over the administration of third brother Alexander’s estate after his death in 2010, it is claimed.
Newcastle Crown Court heard after a visit to a solicitor’s office to discuss the dead man’s property, which had been left in trust to his son, violence flared between the surviving siblings.
Prosecutors claim Marshall, 50, pushed his brother Michael, 52, who was suffering from heart disease, twice onto a bench at a shopping centre.
Both walked away from the row, but within moments Michael Marshall collapsed to the ground with a fatal heart attack.
Prosecutor Christine Egerton said: “The prosecution case is that on August 23 last year Anthony Marshall killed his elder brother Michael, who at the time was 52, by assaulting him.
“Michael already had ischaemic heart disease, and the assault which was carried out by this defendant caused irregular beating of Michael’s heart, which in effect swiftly brought on what is known as a heart attack.
“Although it is right to say that due to Michael’s heart disease he could have developed a fatal, irregular heartbeat at any time, the fact is that he did not.
“It was only when his younger brother assaulted him that he initially walked away from the scene and after having initially walked away Michael Marshall then collapsed and died.”
Marshall, of Broome Road, Carville, Durham City, denies manslaughter and is being tried by a jury.
The court heard Marshall and Michael had disagreed over the administration of Alexander’ estate, and met at a solicitor’s office in Morpeth to discuss the will.
Miss Egerton said: “When they entered the solicitor’s office together it was obvious to the staff in the office that there was animosity and that there was friction between the defendant Anthony and the deceased Michael.”
The court heard that after the men left the solicitor’s office they were caught on CCTV walking through the Northumberland town, and it appeared there was still “tension” between them.
They were seen at a bench in a pedestrianised area of the shopping centre.
Miss Egerton added: “The defendant grabbed his brother Michael on his chest area and pushed him firmly back onto the bench, holding him down for a short time.
“The defendant then moved off his brother Michael and Michael jumped up.
“The defendant then once again took hold of Michael and pushed him back again onto the bench.
“The defendant was overheard to say ‘mess with me and I will kill you’.
“Initially Michael was able to get up, he did get up, he walked off and the defendant walked off in the other direction.
“It was only moments later Michael collapsed on the pavement in the shopping precinct.”
Passers-by dialled 999 but Michael could not be saved.
During police interview Marshall said his brother Michael had sat down on the bench because he was becoming anxious.
He denied overpowering his brother during the confrontation and said he “seemed fine” when he walked away.