A MAN will stand trial after denying the unlawful killing of a much-loved dad.
Paul Sutton pleaded not guilty at Teesside Crown Court to the manslaughter of popular dad Mark Dixon.
Trial will last three days and rely on CCTV evidence
The 32-year-old married dad-of-one died around a week after he was assaulted in Hartlepool town centre following a Saturday night out.
Sutton, 29, is now due to stand trial at the crown court next month.
The public gallery in court was full for yesterday’s brief plea hearing.
Members of Mark’s family and friends occupied most of the seats, with others having to wait outside due to the shortage of space.
Sutton spoke only to confirm his name and say “not guilty” when the charge was put to him by the court clerk.
Prosecutor Jolyon Perks said most of the evidence in the trial, which is expected to last three days, would be in the form of local CCTV footage.
Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, told Sutton: “Your trial will take place on April 27, in the meantime I will grant you bail.”
He said Sutton, of Fordham Road, Sunderland, but formerly of Hartlepool, was not to contact any prosecution witnesses and must stick to a curfew imposed earlier by Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court.
Mark, who worked for Britton Decoflex, on Hartlepool’s Oaksway Trading Estate, was injured following an incident in Victoria Road, Hartlepool, just after 4am on Sunday, October 5, last year.
He was treated at James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, but died just under a week later, on October 11.
Floral tributes from devastated loved-ones were left at the scene for many weeks afterwards.