Youth is cleared of man’s death
A TEENAGER has been found not guilty of killing a father-of-two at a kebab shop. Gavin Noad, 32, from Peartree Way in Stevenage died from a brain haemorrhage on July 2 last year after being punched at the Hyde kebab shop in Shephall. The teenager, who ca
A TEENAGER has been found not guilty of killing a father-of-two at a kebab shop.
Gavin Noad, 32, from Peartree Way in Stevenage died from a brain haemorrhage on July 2 last year after being punched at the Hyde kebab shop in Shephall.
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had originally been accused of murder but that charge was dropped due to insufficient evidence and on Tuesday he was acquitted of the alternative charge of manslaughter.
The father of the defendant told The Comet of his relief at the verdict and the stress of the past eight and a half months. He also said he has made an official complaint about the police investigation following the murder.
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He said: "It has been terrible not knowing what was going to happen. My son is happy and relieved but this isn't a time for celebrations as Mr Noad's family have been through so much."
The father hit out at the police investigation into Mr Noad's death. He said another teenager delivered the fatal blow, not his son.
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He believes officers should have investigated his son's claims that Mr Noad was hit again after his son punched him.
Hertfordshire police did arrest a 17-year-old two days after the murder but he was released without charge.
This week a Hertfordshire police spokesman said there was no evidence that Mr Noad was hit after the defendant hit him and they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the case.
In the run-up to the trial the teenager, now 16, was on the verge of a breakdown, according to his father.
He was given bail after the incident and the family had to move out of Stevenage.
The parents of victim Mr Noad said: "We have lost a loving son who doted on his kids. He was always there for us. The most important thing to Gavin was to work hard to support his family. We just miss him. We want to move on with our lives now. We will always remember him as the good man he was."
The court heard how Mr Noad, a scaffolder, and a friend had been drinking heavily at The Fold pub and had gone to the takeaway shop at about 11 pm on July 1.
Mr Noad confronted the defendant, calling him a "pretty boy" and the teenager had hit him once and then left the shop.
But he returned when another altercation erupted with another group of teenagers and punched him again.
The prosecution claimed it was that blow which had the tragic consequences of causing his death.
But Anthony Chin QC, defending, said there was considerable doubt that the youth was responsible for the fatal blow and named another youth who some witnesses said had hit Mr Noad with more force after the defendant had left the shop.
The defendant, who was 15 at the time, told the jury: "When Mr Noad approached me I felt very scared and I did not want any violence. He swung a punch at me and I thought he would do it again so I hit him in the face on the spur of the moment.
"His friend was charging towards me looking angry. I punched him twice and both men went to the ground."
He said he walked away but returned when he saw Mr Noad shouting at a group of girls.
He said: "He was pointing at them and I thought he was going to do something to them and they would get hurt in some way.
"I went back over to the shop and struck him one blow. It landed on his cheek but was more of a mishit.
"After I struck him he fell into the counter and I left. But I heard another commotion and when I turned round I saw him and another youth from the other group shouting at each other again.
"The other teenager swung a punch, his fist was clenched but I did not see where it connected.