Murder victim gives evidence from beyond the grave as emotional statement is read out

Karl Pascoe

Karl Pascoe

A man who died more than a year after a brutal street attack by a serving soldier has given evidence from beyond the grave.

Joseph Leech was 'never the same again' after he sustained a badly fractured skull and went on to develop epilepsy as a result of being hit repeatedly with a plank of wood by Karl Pascoe in December 2013.

In a statement taken before his death and read out to Newcastle Crown Court today, the 32-year-old victim said he had no idea why anyone would have reason to harm him.

Mr Leech survived the attack close to his home at Woodland Terrace in Washington, Tyne and Wear, due to expert medical intervention but was left with brain injuries.

However, on April 2 last year Mr Leech, who started suffering fits in his sleep after the incident, went to bed at his parents' home for an afternoon nap

and "never woke up".

His lifeless body was discovered by his mother.

Today, Mr Nicholas Lumley QC, prosecuting, read out Mr Leech's statement to the court.

He said: "The main thing that is troubling me is that I did not give anybody any reason to attack me in this way.

"I have no idea why this happened. I have no idea if I spoke to anybody or if they spoke to me.

"I have no idea how I was assaulted or who assaulted me. I can't remember why I received the injuries.

""The main thing that is troubling me is that I did not give anybody any reason to attack me in this way.

"I have no idea why this happened. I have no idea if I spoke to anybody or if they spoke to me.

"I have no idea how I was assaulted or who assaulted me. I can't remember why I received the injuries."

Pascoe, who was convicted of assault in the aftermath of the attack, is now accused of murder.

The 31-year-old, of Blackfell, Washington, denies the charge and is being tried by a jury.

Mr Leech, who had been drinking at home and arguing with a friend on the telephone, had been out in the street after midnight, carrying a piece of wood before he was attacked.

The court heard Pascoe, who was walking along the street with his girlfriend after a night out, was a stranger to Mr Leech and there was no history between the pair.

Witnesses told police it was Pascoe who ended up with the piece of wood, which he used to hit Mr Leech a number of times.

The court has heard a previous jury, before Mr Leech's death, found Pascoe not guilty of attempted murder in relation to the attack.

Mr Lumley has told the court a conviction for attempted murder requires proof of an intention to kill whereas a conviction for murder requires only an an intention to cause really serious harm.

The trial continues.