Published: 16:59, 24 November 2010
by Keith Hunt
A drunken thug who killed his girlfriend in a fit of anger in an alleyway near their home has been cleared of murder.
Steven Brooker had admitted manslaughter and will be sentenced on December 15 following the preparation of reports to assess dangerousness.
Maidstone Crown Court heard how the 42-year-old alcoholic caused Susie Smith fatal internal injuries by kicking her hard in the stomach.
The mother-of-six and grandmother, also known as Beaney, had lived with Brooker for more than three years and both were known as heavy drinkers who rowed regularly.
Miss Smith, 50, was intoxicated on April 29 and fell over while out during the day. When she returned home to their flat at Waterman House in Godfrey Road, Ashford, Brooker was annoyed because she had been gone so long.
An argument started and he assaulted the victim. He pulled her hair out as he followed her outside and continued the attack in a nearby alleyway.
A schoolgirl heard shouting and swearing from her home in Christchurch Road and voice say: “That’s right, you collapse.”
It was then that Brooker kicked Miss Smith in the abdomen. She was taken to the William Harvey Hospital but died soon afterwards.
Prosecutor Deepak Kapur told the jury: “We say he did it all in a violent rage. He deliberately struck her down, deliberately kicked her with at least the intention to do grievous bodily harm.”
Brooker denied murder, claiming he did not mean to kill Miss Smith or cause her serious harm.
The jury of seven women and five men returned a not guilty verdict after deliberating for more than four hours.
Adjourning sentence and remanding Brooker in custody, Judge Philip Statman said: “I have to consider imprisonment for public protection. I have to consider issues of dangerousness in a case of manslaughter.”
For more news from Ashford see this week's Kentish Express.
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