Jury retires in case of gay Trafalgar Square death

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The jury in the case of a gay man killed in central London has retired to consider its verdict.

Ian Baynham, 62, died 18 days after he was attacked in Trafalgar Square in September 2009.

The Old Bailey heard this month that he had suffered homophobic abuse before being knocked to the ground and then kicked and stamped on.

He suffered severe head injuries and never regained consciousness.

Joel Alexander, 20, and Ruby Thomas, 18, both of south London, deny manslaughter and affray.

Mr Baynham had been out with a friend celebrating a new job on the night he was attacked.

Prosecutor Brian Altman QC told the court that Ms Thomas had drunkenly hurled anti-gay abuse at the pair and Mr Baynham had confronted her.

Ms Thomas is said to have lashed out at Mr Baynham and he retaliated towards her friend, Rachel Burke, the jury heard.

The court was told that Mr Alexander then knocked Mr Baynham to the floor with a punch to the jaw.

As he lay on the floor, the girls are said to have kicked him and stamped on him.

Mr Alexander admitted punching the older man but said he struck out to protect the girls.

Mr Baynham died from head injuries sustained when he hit his head on the pavement, the court heard.

Ms Burke was not in court and the jury was told not to speculate on reasons for her absence.