Man cleared of killing Steven Thompson after disturbance outside South Shields nightclub
A man has been cleared of killing a teenager who died after a disturbance outside a town centre nightclub.
Steven Thompson had been out in the bars and clubs in South Shields during August Bank Holiday weekend 2021, and was outside Roxanne's nightclub when he was attacked.
The 19-year-old had been standing on the street near the club when he was assaulted and later died in hospital.
Ian Hall, of Revensby Street in South Shields, denied manslaughter and has been found not guilty by a jury after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.
The 42-year-old had already pleaded guilty to affray in relation to him headbutting a different male, who was not badly injured, at the start of the disturbance.
Leon Wildgoose, 22, of Simonside Hall and Hall's stepson Dylan Ford, 23, of Alice Street, both South Shields, admitted manslaughter at an earlier hearing.
They will be sentenced at a later date.
Jurors heard that Mr Thompson died as a result of injuries sustained from a single punch, which prosecutors accepted was not thrown by Hall.
Prosecutors claimed Hall had headbutted or hit Mr Thompson during the violence.
It was said Hall's "aggressive actions" towards Mr Thompson "encouraged the other two to join in and attack Steven Thompson" and they all bear the consequences of what happened.
But from the witness box during the trial, Hall repeatedly denied that he headbutted Mr Thompson.
He told the court he got involved in the disturbance after receiving a telephone call informing his stepson Ford was "in trouble" and headbutted a different man when he arrived.
Hall said: "I ran in and headbutted him, trying to get him away from Dylan."
He added that he then saw the trouble that led to Mr Thompson's death but was not involved in any of that violence.
Judge Penny Moreland told Hall after he was cleared of attacking Mr Thompson that he will be sentenced next year for the affray charge he admitted, and may have bail.
The judge said: "I will sentence you for the affray on the 3rd of February.
"I'm going to direct a pre-sentence report be prepared to assist me. You may have bail until that date."
The judge told him he was not permitted to enter South Shields town centre or enter any public house in the meantime.
She also said he was prohibited from contacting Wildgoose.
The judge added: "All options remain open as far as sentence is concerned."