Mark Davison manslaughter trial: Expert witness says man's heart was 'always compromised'

An expert doctor told a manslaughter trial it is impossible to know if a motorist’s fatal heart attack was linked to an alleged assault.
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Mark Beaumont is accused of punching Mark Davison, 59, twice to the head area through his car window following a fracas between the men in Hartlepool town centre in May 2022.

Mr Davison suffered a heart attack at the wheel and died a short time later.

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Beaumont, 48, of Fordyce Road, Hartlepool, is standing trial for manslaughter, which he denies at Teesside Crown Court.

Mark Davison, and the car park in Bailey Street, Hartlepool where he died.Mark Davison, and the car park in Bailey Street, Hartlepool where he died.
Mark Davison, and the car park in Bailey Street, Hartlepool where he died.

An expert witness for the defence, Dr Martin Goddard, told the jury on Tuesday that Mr Davison’s heart was already “compromised” due to a pre-existing heart condition.

He said he could not say whether the alleged assault increased Mr Davison’s stress levels following the earlier altercation.

Dr Goddard said: “He’s got baseline disease. The level of stress and exertion is raised by the first altercation.

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"The second event, I don’t know whether that’s sustained that level, increased that level or what.

Mark Davison died following an altercation in Hartlepool town centre in May 2022.Mark Davison died following an altercation in Hartlepool town centre in May 2022.
Mark Davison died following an altercation in Hartlepool town centre in May 2022.

"There’s no way to identify that pathologically and no we to see it clinically.”

He added: “His heart was always compromised pathologically before any of this happened.”

The prosecution alleges Beaumont used unlawful violence against Mr Davison, contributing to his heart attack.

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In his defence, Beaumont maintained he did not strike Mr Davison during the fracas and hit the head rest when he reached into his vehicle.

He said he had no intention of hurting Mr Davison and did not believe he had.

The jury are expected to retire to consider their verdict later this week.