Conan Anderson one-punch attack accused acquitted
A north Belfast chef has been acquitted of causing the death of 22-year-old Conan Anderson, who died in hospital 12 days after a one-punch altercation.
Following a week-long trial held at Belfast Crown Court, a jury delivered a "not guilty" verdict against Lawrence Dowie after deliberating the case for over four hours.
The family of Short Strand man Conan Anderson - who sustained a fatal head wound during an early morning altercation with Mr Dowie in the Arthur's Lane area of Belfast last February - left the court as soon as the majority 10 to two verdict on a charge of manslaughter was announced.
Mr Dowie, whose address cannot be published due to a reporting restriction, always maintained he acted in self defence and insisted he struck Mr Anderson once after the football coach headbutted him and threw two punches which didn't connect.
The left-handed punch to Mr Anderson's jaw resulted in him falling back and hitting his head off the pavement, which caused a catastrophic head injury.
Mr Dowie, who gave evidence during the trial, appeared in court on crutches following a motorbike accident.
After Judge Gordon Kerr QC was informed that there was nothing pending against the 28-year-old, he told the clearly relieved chef he was free to leave the dock.
Belfast Telegraph Digital