The lifelong friend of a grandad who died following an incident in a nightclub has spoken of his anguish over his pal’s death.
Stewart Anderson died after trouble flared at Love Shack in Durham City in the early hours of July 24 last year.
Mr Anderson, a freelance tiler, was pronounced dead shortly after collapsing at the club, in Walkergate.
Police had been called out by staff at the club at 1am.
Following the incident, Mr Anderson’s close friend Alan King, 56, and his son, professional boxer Jordan King, 25, who had both been enjoying an evening out with Mr Anderson, were both charged with affray.
Alan King admitted the charge, saying he punched a member of the club’s door staff after seeing his son being hurt.
At an earlier court hearing, district judge Martin Walker ordered Alan King to pay costs of £80, a victim surcharge of £85 and also carry out 80 hours of unpaid work.
Jordan’s charge was withdrawn earlier this month due to lack of evidence.
Alan King, speaking at his home in Hetton, told the Echo he and his son had nothing to do with causing Mr Anderson’s death and that his passing has given them a year of hell.
Both men, along with Mr Anderson and a number of their friends, were in Durham after one of the group had a big money win on a horse race.
He said: “Jordan had had a fight the week before so we were having a night out in the same place we go on a lot of Saturday nights,” said Alan, who is the boss of a ready-mix cement company.
“We went into Love Shack. We were having a good laugh when there was an altercation on the dancefloor.
“It had nothing to do with us.”
Alan says that there was then an altercation with door staff which saw Jordan being escorted out of the building.
“I could only see Jordan’s trainers underneath some people, so like any dad would I went over to see if he was alright,” said Alan, who is married to Corrina, 52, with who he also has another son Jamie, 27, and two grandchildren.
“I punched someone as I was trying to get to him and after that there must have been 12 or 15 people on top of me and Stewart.”
Alan was later arrested by police on suspicion of affray.
“It was only 12 hours later that I was talking to my solicitor who said Stewart hadn’t come home when I realised he’d died,” he said.
“I collapsed and I was hysterical over it. I couldn’t believe I was never going to see him again.”
Alan and Jordan were later charged with affray and have been unhappy that some people may have thought the charges were to do with the pair harming Mr Anderson.
“He was just a lovely bloke who I was friends with since we were four,” said Alan. “We grew up together in Hetton then both ended up working at Eppleton Colliery.
“He would never cause any trouble and me and Jordan have got massive sympathy for his daughters and granddaughter for what they have lost. It’s been hell.”
Alan, who has a framed picture of himself and Mr Anderson at his home, added: “I just hope that the people who caused his death are found responsible and brought to justice.
“I’m disgusted that no-one has been charged with causing his death.”
Police confirmed in January that no further action would be taken against seven other people who were also arrested in connection with the incident.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) launched an examination into what happened to Mr Anderson and the organisation say it was completed two months ago.
No date has yet been set for an inquest into his death.