Murder verdict for Preston man who stamped on victim's head during pub brawl
A Preston man has been found guilty of murder after a fight in a pub where he stamped on his victim's head.
Steven Lane, 30, of Shalgrove Field, Fulwood, was found guilty yesterday following a trial at Preston Crown Court.
He was also found guilty of wounding Mr Marx’s friend, Rick Alston, by glassing him.
His co-defendant David Easter, 55, of Herons Reach, Blackpool, was found not guilty of murder and not guilty of manslaughter, and was free to go.
Mr Marx, Lane, and Mr Easter had been drinking at the pub on the night of Friday, October 6, 2017.
Lane had previously been involved in a dispute with one of Mr Marx’s friends, Gareth Ramsey, and CCTV footage showed Mr Marx and his friends leaving the vaults area of the pub to approach Lane and Mr Easter in the lounge several times throughout the night, the court heard.
CCTV footage shared with the court showed Mr Marx being ushered back into the vaults and embraced by a female member of staff, however, he pushed past her and returned to the lounge shortly before a scuffle broke out at around 00.17am.
Lane stamped on Mr Marx’s head, inflicting fatal injuries.
He also used a glass to injure Rick Alston. He had denied both charges.
Mr Easter admitted punching Mr Marx ‘no more than three times’ in self-defence, but the court was told he could not have caused the injuries that led to his death.
He had told the court: “He asked me to go out into the car park, obviously for a fight.
“I said I’m not going outside with anybody. He said ‘right, we’ll do it here then’ and marched around the table towards me like a raging bull, with clenched fists, obviously coming to hit me.”
However, Mr Marx’s friend Gavin Ramsey, who was also at the Newton Arms that night, said it was Lane who was being ‘very aggressive’ that night.
He told the court that he saw Lane shouting ‘outside, outside, outside’ at his brother, Gareth Ramsey, around 20 minutes before the fight broke out.
Lane and Gareth Ramsey then left the pub, along with several other men, including Gavin Ramsey, Mr Easter, and Mr Easter’s son Joe, where it was alleged that Gareth Ramsey threw his glass or the contents of his glass at Lane.
Further CCTV footage, taken just minutes before the fatal brawl, appeared to show Mr Marx and Lane engaged in a heated argument while several people, including members of staff, tried to intervene.
Following the fight, Lane left the Newton Arms without his wallet or keys, and said he hid in bushes for around one hour after he saw three men he believed to be Simon Marx, Rick Alston, and Gavin Ramsey walking nearby.
Mr Marx died in bed the following day shortly after flying to Turkey with his girlfriend.
Lane sat with his head in his hands following the verdict, while members of the public gallery wept.
He will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court next Friday.