A young woman who knocked a man unconscious during a confrontation on a night out has been cleared of causing his death.
Kelsea O'Hara, then aged 19, attacked Andrew Turner, 58, after he refused to apologise for bumping into her friend in Bridlington on 28 August last year.
Hull Crown Court heard Mr Turner fell to the ground, hitting his head, and died six days later, on 3 September.Humberside Police launched a murder investigation. But the court heard that two medical experts concluded O'Hara was not responsible for his death.
Andrew Espley, prosecuting, said the incident happened after Mr Turner went out for drinks in Bridlington with a friend.
Mr Turner's friend knew one of O'Hara's friends and he apologised to her for an incident a couple of weeks earlier.But at around 1.30am, O'Hara confronted Mr Turner in Marlborough Terrace and asked him if he would apologise to one of her friends after accidentally walking into her. He refused, the court heard.
Mr Espley said: "O'Hara threw her purse onto the floor and launched herself at Mr Turner, punching him in the face once and causing him to lose consciousness when he fell to the floor, hitting his head in the process when he fell."Mr Turner, of Bridlington, suffered a cut to the back of his head but refused to go to hospital and his injuries were not initially believed to be life-threatening.
O'Hara was arrested the next day. She made no comment during police interview.Mr Espley said: "Mr Turner did not die until 3 September, so she would not have been asked about causing his death.
"The punch seems to have been impulsive and spontaneous and it was one punch."
There was no evidence that the death of Mr Turner had "anything to do with" O'Hara and this had been confirmed after investigations by a pathologist and a neuropathologist, the court heard.
Dale Brook, mitigating, said it was a single punch and O'Hara had originally been charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent but denied it.Mr Brook said: "She has expressed heartfelt and genuine remorse for what she did that night and what happened to the victim.
"It has taken a substantial toll on her. She has understandably thought a great deal about whether she is the cause of what happened to the victim. This is a tragic case."O'Hara, now 20, of Trinity Road, Bridlington, pleaded guilty to wounding. Judge Sophie McKone told her: "Mr Turner has since died but I make it absolutely clear that you bear no responsibility for that.
"There is evidence from two experts, a pathologist and a neuropathologist, who concluded that your actions did not contribute to his death."She said there was "absolutely no excuse whatsoever" for O'Hara's behaviour.O'Hara was given a suspended six-month prison sentence, a six-month curfew and 20 days of rehabilitation.