Club Doorman Cleared of Manslaughter

October 2004

Live Event Industry

A club doorman has been cleared of killing a sports teacher at the Central Criminal Court in London. The doorman, 29 year-old former reserve soldier Robert Demitrou, was charged with killing Philip Mesner who hit his head after being knocked down by Demitrou outside the Roadhouse venue in London’s Covent Garden. But Old Baily Judge Peter Fingret held that the defendant had no case to answer after determining that the blow was a shove (a push) rather than a punch. Mr Mesner, 31, had been out celebrating with teaching colleagues in July 2003 when he was asked to leave the venue but continued to remonstrate outside. The defendant had denied manslaughter which has two forms in English law. Voluntary manslaughter is where the defendant has caused the death of the victim and has the necessary intent for murder BUT can establish a defence in law; these defences include provocation and diminished responsibility. Involuntary manslaughter involves the defendant causing the death of the victim but the defendant does not have the necessary intent for murder; the death must result from either an unlawful criminal act (constructive manslaughter), from the recklessness of the defendant or from the negligence of the defendant. The judge in any case of manslaughter has a wide discretion on what sentence to impose where a conviction is made by a jury, ranging from life imprisonment to a conditional discharge.

Source: London Evening Standard

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