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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2021 1:03 pm 
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Obvious parallels with the Dundee case here, although there the thug was acquitted of culpable homicide after trial, while here the perp has admitted to manslaughter.

No shortage of detail here, though, although not so much about the incident itself.


Family devastated as Duncan Browne's taxi rank killer won't face murder trial

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/li ... e-22560725

A court heard Duncan's grieving parents are unhappy with the decision but the CPS explained its reasoning

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Image: Liverpool Echo

Duncan Browne's killer will not stand trial for murder despite the wishes of the victim's grieving parents, a court heard.

The 23-year-old was punched in an unprovoked attack during a row over a taxi on a night out in Liverpool.

The aspiring firefighter and "mad Everton fan", from Kirkby, died in hospital surrounded by his family the next day.

The man who accepts delivering the fatal punch - Michael McLoughlin - was due to stand trial for murder next month.

But prosecutors have decided not to proceed with this charge against him or his co-accused, Terrence Kerwin.

McLoughlin, 36, of Torus Road, Old Swan, had admitted manslaughter, but denied murder.

Kerwin, 34, of no fixed address, denied both charges.

Duncan's family were present when both men appeared at Liverpool Crown Court via video link from HMP Altcourse.

John Benson, QC, prosecuting, asked for Kerwin to be arraigned on a new charge of assault causing actual bodily harm.

Kerwin admitted this charge, which Mr Benson said was acceptable to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Mr Benson said the CPS had "given very careful and anxious consideration" to whether to accept McLoughlin's plea to manslaughter.

The QC said that involved seeking responses from CPS lawyers, Merseyside Police and "of course" Duncan's parents.

He said: "That decision to accept the plea has been reviewed and agreed to by the head of the crown court unit and approved by police.

"It should be said so the family hears it, they are not happy with the course adopted. This is, of course, entirely understandable.

"Duncan Browne was killed in an unprovoked assault following some minor heated exchange it seems over a taxi journey.

"He was a much loved and cherished member of his family and loved by friends."

Mr Benson said the "the family's grief is still raw".

He said: "They are, not surprisingly, unable to or find it difficult to comprehend why Duncan was taken from them in the circumstances that he was."

However, based on the evidence he said the CPS had decided "the interests of justice are served by not pursuing McLoughlin to trial for his murder".

Duncan went out with friends to watch England's quarter final win over Ukraine at Euro 2020 on Saturday, July 3.

McLoughlin, Kerwin and a third man - arrested but released without charge - were also in Liverpool city centre.

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Image: Liverpool Echo

The court heard Duncan went to bars including lastly Mulligan's in Wood Street before leaving shortly after 3am on Sunday, July 4 and heading to a taxi rank in Hanover Street, close to Brooks Alley.

Mr Benson said Duncan and his friends became separated, and they believed he had gone ahead and caught a taxi home, after they tried to call him but he didn't answer.

Mr Benson said there was an exchange between the defendants' group and three young women, at around 3.30am.

He said then when a taxi arrived, "on the balance of the evidence a verbal altercation took place" between Duncan and the defendants.

The QC said: "No one knows precisely what it was about, but one witness by the name of Danielle Miller heard someone say 'get out of the way lad'.

"The prosecution say that was said by one of the defendants, in all likelihood directed at Duncan Browne, as they wished to enter a taxi."

Mr Benson said: "After that Duncan Browne was struck to the head and witnesses to the incident have described the deceased being punched. Several describe it as a hard, very hard punch."

He said witnesses were unable to pinpoint which defendant punched Duncan, but McLoughlin admitted he was responsible for "the hard and catastrophic injury punch".

The prosecutor said it sent Duncan back, probably hitting his head on some roller shutters, before he fell into one of the women, then collapsed on the ground.

He said: "It was immediately apparent he was unconscious and indeed he never regained consciousness."

Mr Benson said the two defendants got into the taxi and left the scene.

The court heard medical evidence showed Duncan suffered a heavy blow to the right side of his face, which broke his jaw.

But it also caused "forceful rotation of his head resulting in severe vertebral artery injury, which led to a subarachnoid haemorrhage with subsequent cardiac arrest".

Mr Benson said there was "no follow up assault by way of kicking or further punching" and "no threats of violence prior to the assault", both of which could perhaps have indicated "an intention to cause really serious harm".

He said eyewitnesses "not surprisingly" were affected by drink and "there was no true consistency as to how many blows were thrown and by whom".

Mr Benson said CCTV footage didn't provide "a clear picture" of the build up or the attack, beyond showing McLoughlin's "forceful blow".

He added: "What happened occurred over a very short time scale indeed, a matter of a second or two".

Mr Benson said McLoughlin was "no stranger to the criminal courts" and on licence from jail at the time.

But he said his criminal record didn't show "any significant record for violence" and was mainly for dishonesty and driving matters, showing in the past "he's not a man who gets himself into trouble by deploying violence".

McLoughlin later handed himself in at a police station.

Mr Benson said: "He told the police he had no idea and had not thought what he had done had such dreadful consequences and in interview expressed remorse for what had happened."

He said for those reasons the CPS dropped the murder charge.

Mr Benson said: "He pleaded guilty to what is the very serious charge of manslaughter and we suggest it meets the justice of the case.

"Of course, in order to achieve a conviction for murder, the jury would have to be sure that at the time Mr McLoughlin struck Duncan Browne he had intended to kill, or to cause him really serious harm.

"The fact that Duncan Browne died does not of itself evidence that intention."

Judge David Aubrey, QC, said: "For the court's part, it entirely understands why the Crown have taken the decision they have."

Mr Benson said as far as Kerwin was concerned, CCTV was "inconclusive", but there was evidence Duncan suffered a single blow to the left side of his face, resulting in bruising around the eye.

He said: "There was probably an initial blow from another man. The Crown case is that is the defendant Kerwin, whose involvement was transient and obviously nowhere near as serious as that of his co-defendant McLoughlin.

"That is why that count has been added to reflect that limited participation in this very serious incident."

Judge Aubrey said McLoughlin and Kerwin would be sentenced on January 4 - the date previously set for the murder trial.

He remanded both men in custody.

Flowers, balloons and football scarves were left at the scene in the wake of Duncan's death, along with a series of heartbreaking tributes to him.

An outpouring of grief also saw Liverpool FC flags hoisted above his local pub, the Kingfisher, replaced with Everton flags.

His grandad, John Browne, described him as a "warm-hearted, respectful young man, who was an aspiring firefighter".

The Edge Hill University sports science graduate grew up in Kirkby, attending St Peter and St Paul primary school, then All Saints.

He loved the band Coldplay and was "a mad Everton fan", having been named after Blues legend Duncan Ferguson by his Evertonian father, Colin Browne.

Describing him as "a nice, fun-loving guy", his grandad said he "went out to watch a football match that night and he never came home".

He also revealed how two children and two adults were saved as a result of receiving organs donated by him.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2021 3:55 pm 
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the thing is I doubt they can prove that this was pre meditated it was a row that got out of hand with tragic consequences

better a conviction for manslaughter than an acquittal for murder

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2021 7:37 pm 
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Near identical case in Lincoln last summer.

This country’s legal system appears to be heading down the plea bargain route, in which a thug quite literally gets away with murder.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2021 8:33 pm 
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jimbo wrote:
Near identical case in Lincoln last summer.

This country’s legal system appears to be heading down the plea bargain route, in which a thug quite literally gets away with murder.

Not really, as the CPS outlined in the article above.

Be in no doubt if the CPS could have achieved a guilty to murder verdict they would have, but the quote below tell us that the CPS didn't believe they could prove the intention to do really serious harm.

Quote:
Mr Benson said there was "no follow up assault by way of kicking or further punching" and "no threats of violence prior to the assault", both of which could perhaps have indicated "an intention to cause really serious harm".


That's the law as it is, and has been all the years we have been around.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2021 3:35 pm 
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jimbo wrote:
This country’s legal system appears to be heading down the plea bargain route, in which a thug quite literally gets away with murder.

What do you mean about 'heading down' the plea bargain route? I think that ship sailed years ago.

But apart from what Sussex says about the definition of manslaughter and murder etc, in a way I think it's a result of sorts that he admitted to manslaugher. Recall the very similar case in Dundee three or four years ago, when the perp was charged with culpable homicide (the Scottish equivalent) and he was acquitted after trial, thus effectively got away scot free after killing someone. If he'd been charged with assault, say, he might have at least been found guilty of some kind of crime.

So in effect, it's often better to prosecute for a lesser crime if it's thought a jury might not convict for a more serious crime, and the perp in effect gets away with it. And, generally speaking, the double jeopardy rule means the perp can't be charged with a lesser crime at a later date if they're cleared of a more serious crime.

And look at the broadly similar case a few days ago from a taxi rank in Sheffield. Two trials, and the jury can't agree a verdict on the manslaughter charge. Not sure precisely how these things work, but wouldn't be surprised if there's no third trial and the perp walks free.

So of course there's often a degree of plea bargaining in play, but it can serve a useful purpose.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2021 5:09 pm 
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Quote:
but wouldn't be surprised if there's no third trial and the perp walks free.

Be amazed if that's not the case.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 7:02 pm 
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Taxi rank killer left man for dead in street and went to party

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Duncan Browne's cowardly attackers fled the scene before one of them left the country

The drunk thug who killed aspiring firefighter Duncan Browne left him for dead then went to a party.

Michael McLoughlin delivered an unprovoked "catastrophic injury punch" to the 23-year-old at a city centre taxi rank.

Liverpool Crown Court heard McLoughlin's friend Terrence Kerwin also hit the victim, as they tried to get into a black cab ahead of him.

But after 36-year-old McLoughlin knocked out Mr Browne - who never regained consciousness - the "cowardly" pair fled the scene.

McLoughlin was today jailed for nine years and four months for manslaughter, while Kerwin was handed 10 months for assault causing actual bodily harm.

Judge David Aubrey, QC, said: "You McLoughlin had killed your victim in the street. You then got into what you perceived, I have no doubt, as your taxi and left in it with others.

"You appear then to have gone to a party, no concern, no thought whatsoever at that time, to the man who now lay motionless in the street."

Both men had denied a charge of murder and were originally set to stand trial this week.

But the Crown Prosecution Service accepted McLoughlin's plea to manslaughter and Kerwin's plea to assault causing actual bodily harm.

That decision - explained by prosecutors at a hearing before Christmas - was said to be despite the wishes of the victim's grieving parents.

"Mad Everton fan" Mr Browne, from Kirkby, went out with friends to watch England's win over Ukraine at Euro 2020 on Saturday, July 3 last year.

They became separated when he headed to a taxi rank on Hanover Street, at around 3.30am.

John Benson, QC, prosecuting, said in a "verbal altercation" one of McLoughlin's drunken group shouted: "Get out of the way lad."

He said Kerwin, of no fixed address, struck an "initial punch" to Mr Browne, before McLoughlin, of Torus Road, Old Swan, delivered a "very hard punch" to the head, followed by a second blow.

Mr Benson said: "This the prosecution say was an unprovoked and wholly disproportionate reaction to the trivial issue of who was to board the taxi."

Edge Hill University sports science graduate Mr Browne fell against a shop's roller shutters and was knocked out.

Onlookers and paramedics tried to help him, but he died in hospital the next day, surrounded by his family.

Medical evidence showed the right side of his jaw was broken by one of two punches thrown by McLoughlin and captured on CCTV footage.

This caused "forceful rotation of his head resulting in severe vertebral artery injury, which led to a subarachnoid haemorrhage with subsequent cardiac arrest".

The victim also had bruising around the left eye, said to be consistent with the punch struck by Kerwin.

Mr Benson said McLoughlin probably learned on the Monday that Mr Browne had died, but didn't hand himself into police until a week later.

Kerwin fled the country, boarding a ferry to Belfast on July 5 and then travelled on to Dublin, before returning when called by police on July 16.

When interviewed, McLoughlin told officers he saw a man "standing off" next to Kerwin and said he "automatically hit the one closest to him", then hit him again, when he came towards him.

He said he was sorry for the victim's family.

The court heard McLoughlin has 16 previous convictions for 31 offences, including burglary and robbery.

He was on licence at the time for a 32-month sentence for conspiracy to steal, involving raids on jewellers.

Kerwin, who has 20 past convictions for 44 offences, including dealing Class A and B drugs, gave a no comment interview.

John Browne, the grandad of Mr Browne, read an emotional statement in which he mourned the loss of a "kind, respectful, compassionate and dynamic young man", and branded his attackers "cowards".

Nigel Power, QC, defending McLoughlin, said he did not "apportion any blame to Mr Browne" and had told police: "Alls I can say is I'm sorry, deeply sorry."

Mr Power said: "He said he went in to help his friend - as badly judged help as it could ever be possible to imagine."

He quoted a letter from McLoughin, who said he was "truly sorry" for the "irreversible loss" and "lifetime of heartbreak and grief" he had caused.

McLoughlin said: "I'm truly sorry from the bottom of my heart. I would never ask for forgiveness for the unforgivable."

Mr Power said McLoughlin shared custody for a five-year-old daughter and references spoke of him being "ordinarily kind, thoughtful and caring".

However, Judge Aubrey said McLoughlin's previous convictions "don't really suggest kind and caring".

Nick Johnson, QC, defending Kerwin, said he too was remorseful and had spent nearly six months in custody.

Judge Aubrey said Mr Browne "had his whole life ahead of him" and the "ardent Everton fan" intended to serve the community as a firefighter.

He said the victim wasn't drunk, but his attackers had been "drinking to excess".

Judge Aubrey accepted he had shown remorse for his actions since, but said Mr Browne's family were "shattered" by his actions.

He quoted part of a letter from a woman who had received a lifesaving organ from Mr Browne.

She said: "As a result of your kindness and generosity I have been given another chance at life which is such a precious gift, which I will cherish forever."

Judge Aubrey said: "In contrast, what did each of you do as Mr Browne lay unconscious in the street? You got into the taxi, you left the scene and went to a party."

He said McLoughlin was described as kind and caring, but told him: "You showed no such care on the night in question."

Judge Aubrey said: "This was a wholly unprovoked and gratuitous assault in the city centre upon a man who had not been abusive, he had not been confrontational, and I am satisfied he had not offered any threat of violence whatsoever."

He said he would have jailed McLoughlin for 14 years after a trial, but giving him full credit of one third for his guilty plea, jailed him for nine years and four months.

McLoughlin must serve two thirds - just over six years - behind bars.

Judge Aubrey said he would have jailed Kerwin for 15 months, but applying the same credit, imposed a sentence of 10 months, of which he has to serve half.

This will in effect mean Kerwin's immediate release.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2022 4:27 pm 
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Quite a lot of repitition in these various articles, but quite a lot of new detail here about the perps' backgrounds, if anyone's interested :?


Taxi rank killer robbed, burgled and stole in life of shame

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/li ... d-22689905

Duncan Browne was a credit to this city. His killer Michael McLoughlin is a disgrace

Image
Michael McLoughlin (Image: Liverpool Echo)

An aspiring firefighter who dreamed of saving lives was killed by a cowardly thug with a shameful past.

"Respectful, clever and talented" Duncan Browne was described as a "smashing young man", who had his whole life ahead of him.

But at just 23 years of age, he was attacked by two drunken "career criminals", over nothing more than who could get a taxi home first.

Michael McLoughlin landed the fatal punch on much-loved Duncan in a needless attack, which caused heartbreak across Merseyside.

He left his victim to die and headed to a party with his accomplice Terrence Kerwin - a convicted heroin dealer who threw the first punch, then fled the country to avoid the consequences.

Duncan, from Kirkby, was described as a "mad Everton fan", whose dad Colin named him after Blues legend Duncan Ferguson.

At 21, the former All Saints Catholic High School pupil had graduated from Edge Hill University with a degree in sports science.

In comparison, all the man who took his life had achieved at that age was being locked up for a terrifying armed robbery, the details of which the ECHO can now lay bare.

McLoughlin, 36, and Kerwin, 34, both denied charges of murder and were set to stand trial at Liverpool Crown Court this week.

But prosecutors accepted McLoughlin's plea to manslaughter and Kerwin's plea to assault causing actual bodily harm - to the dismay of Duncan's grieving and angry family.

Their fury was only compounded when McLoughlin was jailed for nine years and four months, and Kerwin was handed a 10-month prison sentence, which, due to time served, meant his immediate release.

The family heard how Duncan's killer McLoughlin had amassed 16 previous convictions for 31 offences in total, dating back to when he was a teenager.

John Benson, QC, prosecuting, said a "significant" amount of these were for driving offences, but his record also featured "a considerable number of convictions for dishonesty", including multiple commercial burglaries.

Aged 19, McLoughlin was locked up for 10 months in April 2004 for two burglaries of non-dwellings.

Later that month he was hit with more time behind bars for yet another burglary and dangerous driving.

He avoided prison sentences when convicted of burglary and theft both in January 2005 and January 2006.

The yob also walked free from court in March 2006, for possessing an offensive weapon in public - a knife.

But in December 2006, the then 21-year-old was jailed for a knifepoint robbery.

McLoughlin was connected to a gang of hooded raiders who targeted bookmakers' shops in Merseyside and Cheshire.

On September 25 that year, McLoughlin and an accomplice - who had hit three of the bookies - lay in wait for a Securicor van at a petrol station in Aigburth.

Prosecutors said the security guard was delivering £44,000 in cash when the two thugs struck.

A violent struggle took place as the robbers tried to get the box out of his hands and the guard noticed one of them had a six-inch knife, before the crooks escaped with the cash.

Judge Henry Globe, QC, said all of the robberies had caused "extreme distress and terror" to the victims.

McLoughlin, then of Livingston Drive, Aigburth, admitted robbery and was jailed for five and a half years.

After he was released from that sentence, the dad-of-one stayed out of serious trouble for a decade.

But in May 2019, he was jailed for two years and eight months for conspiracy to steal at Worcester Crown Court.

Mr Benson said: "He was the driver of a car, used by others, who having entered jewellery premises ran off with the rings they had asked to look at, jumping into the car and escaping with the rings, of some significant value."

McLoughlin was released halfway through that sentence.

That meant he was still on licence when he killed Duncan, in the early hours of Sunday, July 4 last year.

Duncan had gone into Liverpool city centre with friends to enjoy England's Euro 2020 quarter final win over Ukraine on the Saturday evening.

As his devastated grandad John Browne put it, he "went out to watch a football match that night and he never came home".

Duncan became separated from his mates when he headed to a taxi rank on Hanover Street, at around 3.30am.

When a cab arrived, a witness heard one of McLoughlin's drunken group shout: "Get out of the way lad."

The court heard Kerwin, of no fixed address, struck an initial unprovoked blow to Duncan, off camera.

CCTV then showed McLoughlin, of Torus Road, Old Swan, deliver a "very hard punch" to Duncan's head, followed by a second blow in quick succession.

As their victim lay unconscious in the road having suffered fatal injuries, McLoughlin and Kerwin jumped in the taxi and carried on with their night.

Duncan died in hospital, surrounded by his loving family, on Monday, July 5.

Prosecutors said his attackers probably learned about his death that day, due to the extensive press coverage.

Image
Image: Liverpool Echo

Duncan's grandad even gave a heartbreaking press conference, calling on the people of this "lovely city" to help find his attackers.

But McLoughlin didn't hand himself into police until a week later, when he told officers: "Alls I can say is I'm sorry, deeply sorry."

When Kerwin heard Duncan had died, he fled the country, boarding a ferry to Belfast on July 5, and then travelling on to Dublin.

Police rang his mobile phone on July 16, when he told them he didn't have any money and asked for their help to fund his trip back to Liverpool.

On his return, he gave a no comment interview.

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Terrence Kerwin (Image: Liverpool Echo)

Kerwin had 20 convictions for 44 offences, including "dishonesty", dating back to when he was a youth.

He didn't have any convictions for violence, but was previously sentenced for supplying heroin and cocaine.

Kerwin was last convicted of possessing cannabis and amphetamine in August 2020.

At their sentencing, both attackers expressed remorse, with McLoughlin stating in a letter: "I'm truly sorry from the bottom of my heart."

They bowed their heads in shame when addressed by Duncan's grandfather, as the 72-year-old labelled them both "cowards" in a powerful victim statement.

Nigel Power, QC, defending McLoughlin, told the court his client had shared custody of a five-year-old daughter and references spoke of him being "ordinarily kind, thoughtful and caring".

However, Judge David Aubrey, QC, said McLoughlin's previous convictions "don't really suggest kind and caring".

The difference in character between the men sitting in the dock and their innocent victim couldn't have been more stark.

Duncan had dreamed of saving lives through joining the fire brigade.

Even though his future was taken from him by McLoughlin, he was still able to achieve his ambition of helping others.

As his grandad previously told the ECHO: "He donated his organs. Even though it was very traumatic for the family, it was the right thing to do.

"We have been told now two kids have shared his liver and two adults had a kidney each, so he saved four lives. He is a hero."


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2022 6:19 pm 
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Quote:
But McLoughlin didn't hand himself into police until a week later, when he told officers: "Alls I can say is I'm sorry, deeply sorry."

:---)

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