A DAD accused of murdering a pensioner said he was acting in self-defence, a jury has been told.

John Taylor is accused of beating 69-year-old Barry Tyrie to death outside the Trades club in Haslingden in a joint enterprise attack with his co-defendant son, Daniel John Taylor.

Earlier in the trial the jury at Preston Crown Court was told how Mr Tyrie died from traumatic haemorrhage – a bleed on the brain as a result of the incident at 10.30pm on August 25.

During a closing speech to the jury Francis Fitzgibbon QC, defending Taylor Snr, said his client accepted punching Mr Tyrie but that was only after the elder man had felled him.

Mr Fitzgibbon said moments before that Taylor Snr’s ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Bodycomb had thrown beer at him and kicked him in the groin, following a heated argument between the pair.

While still on the ground and feeling what his client felt was a “hostile atmosphere towards the Taylors”, Mr Fitzgibbon said Taylor Snr punched Mr Tyrie in self-defence because he feared further violence towards him was imminent. He denied kicking or punching Mr Tyrie when he was on the ground.

The court had earlier been told by Dr Daniel Du Plessis, a leading neuro-pathologist, that Mr Tyrie’s death was caused by a twisting motion in his neck which caused by a traumatic tear in major artery to the right side of the neck which flooded the membrane around the brain with blood. He said the most likely cause was severe trauma to the jaw, although he said he couldn’t exclude it was caused by other injuries to the face.

Home Office pathologist Dr Naomi Carter said Mr Tyrie had multiple bruising to the face, back of the head, arms and body and a broken nose, but when asked about the fatal injury said it was most likely caused by a kick or stamp to the right jaw but couldn’t exclude a hard punch.

Responding to that, Mr Fitzgibbon said it was Taylor Snr’s case that the fatal blow was the punch he had delivered while acting in self-defence.

Mr Fitzgibbon said: “If that was the injury to cause the artery to tear and is what killed Mr Tyrie then what ever else happened afterwards is of no significance at all as far as the charges of murder and manslaughter are concerned. To put it crudely, you can’t kill somebody after they are already dead.”

Mr Fitzgibbon said Taylor Snr had been friends with Mr Tyrie for many years and they were former neighbours.

The court heard that when police arrested Taylor Snr at his home in Blackburn Road, Haslingden, at 2am the following morning they found the shirt, jeans and trainers he had been wearing the following day, which contained traces of blood.

Mr Fitzgibbon said if his client had planned Mr Tyrie’s killing then he would have disposed of or burned his clothes. He also said his client never denied standing close to Mr Tyrie when he was being attacked and that traces of the deceased blood found have transferred to Taylor Snr’s items while he was in close proximity, rather than as a result of direct contact between the pair.

The court heard that when police went to arrest Taylor Snr he tried to escape out of a window wearing just his underpants. He said he had done that because he didn’t realise it was the police and thought Mr Tyrie’s friends or family were there to seek retribution.

Summing up, Judge Mark Brown said Taylor Jnr had said he was also a friend of Mr Tyrie and had been talking to him earlier in the day about buying some mobile phones off him.

Taylor Jnr accepted that he had pushed Mr Tyrie against a wall in self defence because the elder man had grabbed him around the throat and had began to strangle him. He also denied kicking or punching him while he was on the ground.

However, he did say that as he looked to see where his girlfriend Caitlin Meadowcroft was, he saw a white trainer kick Mr Tyrie to the head. But he said he didn’t see who it belonged to.

The jury are expected to retire to consider their verdicts this morning.

John Taylor, 57, and Daniel Taylor, 30, both of Blackburn Road, Haslingden, deny murder.