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Witness tells murder trial of 'deafening' blow to neck

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

Snurridge House

Snurridge House

A family member has told of his horror at witnessing an attack at a family birthday party which left a 20-year-old relative dying from a gaping neck wound.

Paul Davis said he heard a deafening slapping sound as fellow guest Raymond Dupree smashed a glass into the throat of his great nephew Ryan King at the country house party.

He had no idea how badly the victim was injured but

got up and went to restrain Dupree, who shrugged him off and swore, saying: “I’ve done him.”

Mr Davis is also an uncle of Ryan, and had spent the evening celebrating the 40th birthday of Lisa Wilson, who is his sister and Ryan’s mother.

He had sat down by the time the dispute which led to the attack broke out at around 3am, Exeter Crown Court was told. He saw the blow struck and rushed to prevent further trouble while other guests went to help Ryan, who had suffered a severed jugular vein.

Former boxer Dupree, aged 68, of Bishops Nympton, near South Molton, denies murdering Ryan King at the party at Snurridge House in August 2011. He says it was an accident.

The jury have been told Ryan was attacked after trying to stop Dupree bullying a group of 13 and 14-year-old girls who he thought should stop playing music and go to bed.

The prosecution say Dupree accused Ryan of “disrespecting him” and swung a wine glass which exploded and shattered as it hit his throat. Mr Davis told the jury the party had gone well and everyone had been happy until the argument broke out in the early hours.

He said he was sitting down and not involved in the dispute at the time the violence started. He said: “I saw Dupree appear to punch Ryan. It was fast and hard, that is all I can say. I heard the noise. It was like a slap but louder. It was so loud it was deafening.

“I was sat on a sofa and after I saw the blow I jumped straight up and went towards Dupree. I put my hands on his shoulders and said ‘what are you doing?’

“Ryan was still on his feet at that stage and stayed on his feet for a little while. His friend Shane Thorne grabbed him and took off his top and stuck it straight on his neck.”

A 14-year-old girl who was a guest at the party has told how she saw Dupree becoming annoyed in the moments before he lashed out.

The girl, who cannot be named because of her age, said Dupree had already told one

of her friends to go to bed

and become upset when she refused and gave a sarcastic reply.

She then saw him shove Ryan when he intervened saying ‘leave her alone, she’s only a child’.”

The girl told the jury: “Dupree pushed Ryan, who staggered back into some chairs.”

The trial continues.

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