Wolverhampton, England – A tragic incident in Woodside, Wolverhampton has left 41-year-old Anthony Wootton dead after a physical altercation followed by a fatal injury. The incident occurred on July 17 in the car park of Orient Court, where Wootton was found with fatal internal bleeding that resulted from an attack the previous evening.
The altercation had taken place in Armstrong Close, where both Wootton and 32-year-old Ashley Harris lived. The fight erupted after Wootton attacked his girlfriend, who then sought refuge at Harris’ residence out of fear for her safety. The Stafford Crown Court heard that Wootton’s spleen had been fatally injured, causing his death.
During the two-week trial, the prosecution asserted that Harris had struck Wootton with a severe blow from a garden rake after confronting him over the assault against his neighbor’s partner. However, Harris denies the charges of murder and manslaughter.
In her summary of the evidence, Judge Kristina Montgomery reminded the jury that Harris had initially lied about taking a rake from his garden to the front of the house. She also highlighted the volatile nature of Wootton’s relationship with his partner, describing the events as the worst of any occasion.
The jury was reminded of witness statements from neighbors who had seen Harris wrestling with Wootton on the ground but had not witnessed the alleged strike with the rake. The judge also emphasized the conflicting medical evidence regarding the cause of Wootton’s injuries.
Harris had testified that he took the rake to scare Wootton, but it backfired as Wootton allegedly charged at him, causing Harris to discard the rake. As the trial continues, the case reminds the community of the devastating impact of domestic violence and the importance of seeking peaceful resolutions to conflicts.