Court hears how man was killed with a single punch in Milton Keynes city centre

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A young husband who went out with his wife to celebrate her birthday died from a single punch as he stood in a queue for a takeaway restaurant at the end of the night, a jury heard.

Joseph Kent suffered a brain haemorrhage following the punch and collapsed unconscious to the pavement.

His 22-year-old wife Emma was inside the Kentucky Fried Chicken takeaway in Milton Keynes city centre at the time, unaware that her husband had been fatally injured.

She told a jury today (Tuesday) how she was still waiting to get served when her friend came inside to tell her :“Joe’s been hit.”

She said she rushed outside expecting to find him with an injured lip but, as she reached him, he collapsed in front of her.

A jury at Luton Crown Court was today told that Joseph Kent never regained consciousness and, after being pronounced brain dead two days later, his life support machine was turned off and he died the day before his 25th birthday.

CCTV footage of the moment tattoo artist Mr Kent was struck was played to the jury at the start of the trial of Samir Bostan, 27, who denies his manslaughter.

Ian Wicks prosecuting told how Joseph and his wife Emma were out celebrating her 22nd birthday with family and friends when he was punched outside the Xscape Building in central Milton Keynes.

Mr Kent, his wife and their friends had been in a bar in the building, leaving in the early hours of Sunday morning, January 13 2013, when it was decided they would get something to eat from the nearby takeaway outlets.

The prosecutor said the evening had passed off peacefully, adding “Everyone was in good spirits and there was nothing to foreshadow this was an evening that was to end in violence and tragedy and Joseph Kent losing his life.”

In the witness box Mr Kent’s widow Emma told the jury she and some others had joined the queue for the KFC restaurant shortly before her husband and his friends arrived.

The jury heard bouncers were letting people in and out of the premises and she was near the defendant and his party came out. They included Mr Bostan’s brother, Tariq, and a friend.

Mrs Kent said one of them pointed to her and at the same time said to the bouncers “Don’t let these girls in.”

She went on “It was said in a joking way and I said to him ‘What’s it got to do with you?’.”

But with that she said the man who had made the remark got close to her face and told her the bouncer was his uncle and he would say who could come in and who couldn’t.

She said she told him to go away and he then insulted her, saying “Who the f... do you think you are standing there in your little dress with your little tits.”

Mrs Kent said her husband and his friend who was with him, Andrew Curzon-Berners, told the man: “You can’t talk to her like that.”

She said she heard her husband say “You can’t talk to my wife like that.”

The widow said there was a discussion going on between the men, but it all seemed to die down and she thought “it was over.”

Moments later she said a bouncer ushered her into the restaurant and Joe and his friend remained outside in the queue.

She said she was only in there for a minute when a girlfriend found her to tell her that her husband had been hit, and she went outside.

Mr Wicks told the court that following the first exchange of words, the defendant and his group left the queue and made their way towards a nearby taxi rank.

Joseph Kent and Mr Curzon-Berners remained in the queue while Mr Kent’s brother Matthew was in a nearby queue for a Subway restaurant.

But, said the prosecutor, moments later violence flared when the defendant’s brother, Tariq Bostan returned to the queue and began fighting with Mr Curzon-Berners.

Mr Wicks said it was at this point Samir Bostan joined in and was caught on CCTV throwing a number of punches.

“One of these punches struck and killed Joseph Kent,” he told the jury.

The prosecutor said that Samir Bostan twice punched Joseph Kent.

The first blow to his face caused him to fall backwards, but he was up straight away and appeared alert, although he was holding his nose.

Mr Wicks said his brother Matthew, who had seen what was happening, rushed over but was immediately knocked out in the fighting that was breaking out.

Moments later he said Joseph Kent, who was not taking part in any of the violence, was suddenly hit by Samir Bostan for a second time.

The prosecutor said the impact to Mr Kent’s lower jaw and neck cause a sudden twisting of the neck and head and he suffered a “traumatic sub-arachnoid haemorrhage.”

Such a condition said the prosecutor would lead to collapse and rapid death.

He told the jury “The case for the prosecution is that when he punched Joseph Kent he was not acting in self-defence.”

Mr Wicks told the jury it was the second blow that had resulted in the death of Mr Kent.

The jury were told that, having been struck for a second time, Mr Kent staggered away from the fighting, briefly lent against a metal bollard and then collapsed heavily to the pavement, striking his head.

Members of the public tried to help him before paramedics took over and it was soon realised he was desperately ill.

Efforts were made to get his heartbeat going before he was taken to hospital.

Two days later on January 15 2013 he was pronounced brain dead, said Mr Wicks and the life support system keeping him alive was switched off and he died an short while later.

Mr Bostan, now of Clarkes Spring, Tring in Herts, pleads not guilty to manslaughter.