Brother admits manslaughter after one punch killing of sibling, Jordan Bell, 27, following Sunderland bar argument
A tragic cctv recording captured the moments a former amateur boxer rowed with his brother during a night out before he killed him with a single punch in the street.
Dominic Robson, 26, and Jordan Bell, 27, who were siblings but grew up separately after being adopted by different families, had in a "heated argument" at Joseph's bar in Sunderland on July 10 last year.
Newcastle Crown Court heard it is claimed the row, which was caught on cctv camera, was over "inappropriate" comments Mr Bell had made to Robson's girlfriend, who was with them.
After they left the pub and walked along Holmeside in the city, Robson threw one punch with his left hand that sent Mr Bell crashing to the ground and caused devastating head injuries that led to his death two weeks later.
But on the second day of his trial, after the jury had to be discharged due to Coronavirus isolation requirements of one of the panel, Robson changed his plea to guilty.
He will be sentenced on July 8 and has been granted bail in the meantime. But Judge Penny Moreland warned him: "I direct a number of reports and other material be made available by that date, to assist me.
"You can have bail until that date, on the same terms as before.
"But, I know you will have had explained to you, there is only one possible sentence and that is a sentence of immediate custody."
Robson had claimed he hit out in self defence because he believed Mr Bell had been about to "fling a punch".
The deadly blow was caught on cctv and footage of what happened was played to jurors at the start of the trial.
Prosecutor Shaun Dodds told the court Robson walked away with his girlfriend after he threw the fatal punch.
A passer-by had heard a "thud" then saw Mr Bell lying on the ground and alerted a police officer, who found him unresponsive.#
Mr Bell was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle where a CT scan revealed haemorrhaging to the brain and a fractured skull, among other injuries.
Mr Dodds said a doorman at Joseph's Bar, where the brothers had been drinking, along with Robson's girlfriend, had seen the men arguing.
The court heard the doorman said he saw Robson being "aggressive" and pointing at his brother while Mr Bell, who "had had far too much to drink", appearedto be "more defensive".
Mr Dodds added: "It transpires the defendant was annoyed at certain inappropriate sexual comments Mr Bell had made to his girlfriend."
CCTV showed the men, and Robson's girlfriend, left the bar together, after Mr Bell dropped his glass inside, and walked along Holmeside.
The brothers appear to be talking and then Mr Bell crossed over the road and back again.
Mr Dodds said: "The defendant punches him to the head with his left hand and causes Jordan Bell to fall to the ground."
The court heard Robson and his girlfriend walked to another bar after the violence but left without getting a drink and got the bus to her home.
Robson was arrested at his home the following day, initially on suspicion of GBH with intent.
He told detectives during interview Mr Bell had initially been in an "ok" mood when they had a drink at a nearby bar called the Borough but he "changed dramatically" and "had been saying sexual jokes" towards Robson's girlfriend in Joseph's bar.
Robson said when they were in the street he hit out, once, in self defence and added: "Jordan came towards me. He was going to fling a punch so I reacted in self defence.
"I hit him once.
"Obviously he has fallen and hit his head on concrete."
Robson also told police he had been an amateur boxer for six or seven years.
Detective Inspector Phil Bowles, of Northumbria Police, said: “This is a tragic case that once again highlights the horrendous and irreversible consequencesthat throwing a punch can have.
“Earlier that evening, both brothers were enjoying a beer together but what began as a friendly catch-up swiftly turned into a nightmare.
“The impact of the single punch thrown by Robson caused Jordan to fall backwards and hit his head off the pavement, suffering injuries that he was unable to survive from. Our thoughts remain with Jordan’s family at this devastating time.
“I sincerely hope this case acts as a serious reminder to everyone about what can potentially happen when you throw a punch. Robson’s decision that night has not only taken away his brother’s future, but ruined several lives forever.
“Robson made a choice when turning to violence and sadly that decision has had heart-breaking consequences.”