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A defendant whose punches led to the death of a man in Leicester city centre has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Joe Baldwin was outside Natterjacks in Braunstone Gate during the evening of Friday 27 August last year, when he was involved in a disagreement with 49-year-old Charles Neeson.

Picture: Charles Neeson. Leicestershire Police

During the incident, 28-year-old Baldwin of no fixed address, punched Mr Neeson twice which resulted in him hitting his head on the ground.

Mr Neeson was taken to hospital with serious injuries and sadly died two days afterwards. The post-mortem examination revealed Mr Neeson suffered a significant brain injury and multiple skull fractures.

Baldwin left the scene but was arrested the following morning, initially on suspicion of Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) but following Mr Neeson’s death he was charged with manslaughter.

At a hearing on Friday (July 1), Baldwin pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He is due to be sentenced on Wednesday (July 6).

Detective Inspector Mark Parish from East Midlands Special Operations Unit Murder Investigation Team, said: “There are absolutely no winners in this situation. What was initially believed to be a scuffle ended in such a devastating loss.

“In my experience as a senior officer I wouldn’t say this was a prolonged violent assault – CCTV captured the incident and supporting evidence confirmed that Mr Neeson was punched twice. This resulted in him falling to the ground and hitting his head on the pavement – that impact then led to Mr Neeson suffering fatal injuries.

“What this case demonstrates is how the punches led to Mr Neeson suffering such catastrophic injuries. Baldwin now faces a significant term in prison and Mr Neeson’s family will have to live with his loss for the rest of their lives.”

In a statement, the family of Charles Neeson said “the actions of one man has changed the rest of our lives”.

“We will never be able to make my dad a grandad, if any of us get married he will not be there at our wedding or to see us move into our first house. All moments that parents are supposed to be there for, to cherish and reminisce into old age. Our dreams and his memories are overshadowed by the image of him lying in the hospital bed.

“Our dad was loved and cherished by many and he will be forever in our hearts.”