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Last Updated: Monday, 1 December, 2003, 18:24 GMT
Street attack was 'unprovoked'
The street in Glodwick, Oldham, where Mr Hopley was attacked
Gavin Hopley died in hospital six days after the attack
A teenager who died after being kicked in the head was the victim of an unprovoked attack, a court has heard.

Gavin Hopley, 19, died in hospital six days after the incident in Oldham in February 2002.

Mr Hopley struck the back of his head when he fell unconscious to the ground in Glodwick, Manchester Crown Court was told on Monday.

Mohsin Raza has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Hopley, who had been on a night out with friends.

Prosecutor Mukhtar Hussain QC said that before the incident Mr Hopley and his friends Gareth Wrigley and Thomas McVey were chased down the street by a group of Asian men, which did not include Mr Raza.

'No warning'

After the chase, Mr Wrigley was attacked in a back yard by a number of Asians wielding sticks and Mr McVey was kicked, he told the court.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Hopley, who had become separated from his friends, was seen by a witness - Mohammed Zubair - walking down nearby Greengate Street, looking "panicky and frightened".

Mr Hussain said Mr Zubair was talking to Mr Hopley, when Mr Raza, 19, of Brewerton Road, Oldham, suddenly appeared behind him.

"He grabbed a post with his left-hand - we say for support - and without any warning kicked Gavin Hopley on the right side of his face with his foot," said Mr Hussain.

Re-arrested

Mr Raza denied being in Glodwick at the time and exercised his right to silence when first arrested, said Mr Hussain.

The charges were later withdrawn, but it was after Mr Zubair made a statement in March this year that Mr Raza was re-arrested and charged, he said.

He said those involved in the chase had been dealt with by the courts for public disorder.

The trial continues.




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