Killer facing years in jail after admitting manslaughter of Hartlepool man

Stanley Burgon.
Stanley Burgon.

A 43-year-old man is facing years in prison after admitting the manslaughter of one man and the serious assault of another.

Leslie Dowson, who has a record of violent offending, was initially charged with the murder of 56-year-old Stanley Burgon.

A police car in St Oswald Street, off Raby Road, Hartlepool, after the attack on Mr Casey.

A police car in St Oswald Street, off Raby Road, Hartlepool, after the attack on Mr Casey.

Dowson pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Burgon earlier this year although the plea could not be reported until now because he faced an unrelated trial for another offence of violence.

Police were called to a house in Rydal Street, off Elwick Road, Hartlepool, on November 18 last year following reports of a disturbance.

They found Mr Burgon with severe head injuries.

He was taken to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, where he died on November 21.

A police cordon in Rydal Street, Hartlepool, after the attack on Mr Burgon.

A police cordon in Rydal Street, Hartlepool, after the attack on Mr Burgon.

Dowson stood trial at Teesside Crown Court this week for the assault of Michael Casey.

A jury heard that offence took place at Dowson's house in St Oswald Street, Hartlepool, on December 7.

Dowson and Mr Casey, 36, had been drinking for around 12 hours when Dowson launched his assault at about 6am.

No motive was given to the jury although prosecutors think Dowson objected to the way in which Mr Casey sympathised with Dowson's former partner following a family bereavement.

Mr Casey made a statement to police saying Dowson had assaulted him, pouring hot water down his neck and breaking his arm.

Mr Casey changed his story when he gave evidence, saying Dowson had not assaulted him.

The jury was told of a conversation Dowson had with someone who visited him in prison on remand.

The conversation was covertly recorded.

Dowson told his visitor he had "mullered" Casey and "paggered him all over" although the fight had been "tit for tat".

Dowson denied wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and the alternative lesser charge of causing grievous bodily harm.

On the second day of his trial he changed his plea to guilty of the lesser charge.

John Elvidge, prosecuting, said the plea was acceptable to the Crown because of "witness difficulties" in proving the intent element of the more serious charge.

On the direction of Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, the jury found Dowson guilty of causing grievous bodily harm and not guilty of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Dowson was remanded in custody to be sentenced on Wednesday.