Page last updated at 17:16 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 18:16 UK

Man convicted of boat row killing

Michael Reed
Michael Reed, 67, died from a heart attack during the incident

A bank worker has been found guilty of the manslaughter of a 67-year-old River Thames boat captain who died after he punched him in a drunken fracas.

Michael Reed, from Barking, east London, had a heart attack after being punched at Tower Pier in June 2007.

Andrew Liddard, 29, of Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, hit Mr Reed on the face during a short but "very aggressive" exchange, the Old Bailey heard.

Liddard was granted conditional bail until his sentencing hearing in August.

Earlier in the trial the court heard how Mr Reed had been trying to restrain Liddard and his brother Christopher after they began swearing at passengers and were asked to leave the boat.

'Very aggressive'

Describing the moments after Liddard punched Mr Reed, Mark Dennis QC, prosecuting, said: "After a short while, Mr Reed sat down on some steps. After a few moments, his condition deteriorated rapidly and he passed out, having suffered a heart attack. "

He added: "This display of aggression and violence only lasted some 40 seconds or so.

"However, it had been quite intense, very aggressive and it had involved an exchange of punches."

Mr Reed, who had been married for 44 years and worked on the river all his adult life, had been in hospital with a heart problem in 2001.

Crew members had to sit on Liddard, who appeared to be "foaming at the mouth with rage", to restrain him from further violence, the court heard.

Liddard was convicted following a retrial. A jury failed to reach a verdict after a previous trial which finished in January.

In the previous trial, Liddard's brother Christopher, 23, of Harlow, Essex, was cleared of manslaughter, affray and causing actual bodily harm. But he admitted common assault and was ordered to serve 100 hours of community service.



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