Jury hears how Danny Walsh’s head was kicked ‘like a football’ during alleged attack in Grantham

Danny Walsh.
Danny Walsh.
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Danny Walsh was kicked to death in front of his partner after intervening to complain about a noisy party, a jury heard.

Danny Walsh was kicked to death in front of his partner after intervening to complain about a noisy party, a jury heard.

The father-of-two, 30, stopped to remonstrate as he walked past the party in Edinburgh Road, Grantham, with his partner Katie Loosemore and their two-year-old toddler in a pushchair.

The couple were concerned the noise would be keeping awake family’s in the neighbouring houses, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

But the householder, Kelly Parsons, emerged to scream abuse at Mr Walsh. It is alleged that after Mr Walsh, a self-employed brick layer, returned to the property a second time, Miss Parson’s brothers Ben and Sam Croft carried out a fatal attack on him.

The brothers kicked his head “like a football” as he lay motionless on the ground, the jury was told.

Mr Walsh suffered serious brain injuries and despite efforts to save his life he was pronounced dead within hours of the attack happening.

Gordon Aspden, prosecuting, told the jury Mr Walsh and his family were walking home in the rain after an evening out at a charity event staged at their local football club Harrowby FC.

Mr Aspden said: “They intended to leave at 9pm but Layla May (Mr Walsh’s daughter) had fallen asleep in her buggy so they decided to stay on until the end of the night.

“Shortly after midnight Danny Walsh and Katie Loosemore set off to walk home. It was raining. Danny was pushing the buggy.

“Their journey home took them along Edinburgh Road in Grantham. On that Saturday night there was an impromptu party going on. The party was taking place at (the property) which belonged to Kelly Parsons the sister of the two defendants.

“Both Ben and Sam Croft were at the party. Everyone in the house had been drinking. The noise levels got louder.

“By this time Danny Walsh and his family had reached the area outside the party. There was the sound of shouting and arguing coming from the house. Some of those present had spilled out onto the street outside.

“It was at this point Mr Walsh made a fatal mistake – he decided to get involved.

“He knew there were children sleeping in the area and he shouted across to those in and around the house to keep the noise down.

“Kelly Parsons appeared. She was drunk and she was screaming at Danny Walsh that it was her house and she would do as she liked.

“Mr Walsh didn’t back down and repeated his request for them to keep the noise down.

“A few moments later the two defendants and others were out in the front. There then followed an ugly argument. It involved those at the house and Mr Walsh.

“The argument culminated in a confrontation resulting in Mr Walsh being assaulted by the two defendants.

“Each of them struck him and each of them by his conduct encouraged the other to do the same. It was a joint assault.

“He was swiftly knocked to the ground where he was further assaulted.

“Katie Loosemore tried to intervene but was intercepted by the drunken Kelly Parsons and briefly those two women were fighting in the street. There was shouting and there was noise.

“Those present began to realise Danny Walsh was in a bad way. He was unconscious, unresponsive and bleeding from the mouth. Attempts were made to rouse him but he didn’t wake up. The reason for that is simple. It was because he was dying.”

Mr Aspden said that Sam Croft left the scene in a car but his older brother called for an ambulance.

Mr Walsh was taken to Grantham Hospital but was in a deep coma and died soon afterwards.

Miss Loosemore told the jury that they heard noise from the party as they entered Edinburgh Road and were concerned because there with families with children either side.

She said: “I knew one of the children had a terminal illness and there were two children the other side.

“As we walked along I realised that the noise was coming from the house with the red door. The door was open. There were two young men in the street. They were arguing. I couldn’t really make out what they were saying.

“I knew the people either side of the house had children. I know the people on one side had quite a young baby and the other side had a child who was quite poorly. She had a terminal illness.

“Daniel said he was going to have words with them and tell them to turn the noise down. We were talking about it. I said I would be fuming. It was because of the kids next door. If you had children next door you wouldn’t really appreciate it.”

She said Danny went across and spoke to Ben Croft, whom he knew, but then Croft’s sister Kelly Parsons emerged from the house in her pyjamas.

“She just started screaming that it was her house and they could do what they want in there and it was nobody else’s business. She seemed quite drunk.”

Miss Loosemore said there was some pushing between Ben Croft and Danny but it calmed down.

She walked on with Danny and Layla May but stopped nearby to talk to a friend only for Ben Croft to reappear.

“Ben shouted to Danny to go over and sort it out. Daniel gave me a kiss on the head and said ‘I love you’. He said ‘I’m going over.’”

She told the jury that as the incident continued she took Layla May to her friend’s house returning to find Danny in a confrontation with Kelly Parsons before Ben Croft and Daniel started fighting.

“I saw Daniel get a punch to the side of the head off Ben and a punch at the back of the head. Sam Croft hit Daniel on the back of the head. After he was punched Daniel was on the floor. He wasn’t moving but they carried on kicking. The kicks were to his heads. Both of them were kicking him. It was like they were kicking a football.”

Under cross examination Miss Loosemore denied a defence suggestion that Mr Walsh “flipped” and attacked Sam Croft.

She denied a further defence claim that only one kick was aimed at her partner and that “she was only seeing what she wanted to see” when she described Mr Walsh being repeatedly kicked.

“I have it in my head all the time,” she insisted, “and it is there all the time.”

Ben Croft denied he was involved in any violence while his brother Sam said he acted in self defence.

Ben Croft, 24, and Sam Croft, 22, both of Thorold Road, Barrowby, each deny murder on 28 July 2013.

The trial continues.