A teenager accused of killing a married dad by hitting him in an early-hours street attack claimed throwing a single punch was “proportionate”.

Matthew Curtis, 18, denies the manslaughter of dad-of-four Philip Long, 36, who was out celebrating his second wedding anniversary with wife Hayley at the time of the fatal altercation.

On Tuesday jurors at Mold Crown Court heard a clip of the 999 call made to the ambulance service in the aftermath of the incident in College Street, Wrexham, in the early hours of August 4 last year. Shouting was audible in the clip in which a distressed person was heard to say: “He punched him in the face.”

Doctors caring for Mr Long decided attempting surgery was “futile” due to the catastrophic nature of his injuries and he died in hospital in the early hours of Tuesday, August 6 – the day after his anniversary.

The court heard in a subsequent statement Curtis said he was with a group in Wrexham and some of those people were fighting among one another. He told police Mr Long had intervened in the group argument and at one point pushed a man who fell to the floor.

Philip Long with his wife Hayley
Philip Long with his wife Hayley

The defendant claimed an angry Mr Long took two steps towards his friend prompting Curtis to punch him once with the blow connecting with his left eye.

“The only reason I punched this male was to stop him assaulting my friend Adam again,” said Curtis in a statement. He said he believed his actions were “reasonable and proportionate in the defence of another” and he did not intend for Mr Long “to receive the injuries he did or to end his life”.

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Curtis, of Gwersyllt, Wrexham, denies manslaughter and the trial continues.