Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Charles Cox - The Verdict Is In

It's been a long wait since we first heard that someone was to be tried for the manslaughter of Charles Cox. Charles was assaulted - we now know - in November 2007 and died in July 2009. Jeremy Aylmer was, today, acquitted of Charles' manslaughter. The accusation was that he had "pole-axed" Charles with a single punch. Mr. Aylmer's defence was that Charles had been the aggressor - an unlikely scenario but one that the jury evidently agreed with although there is a further aspect to the defence that implied that Charles did not die from the punch but from the tube that he was being fed with (which, of course, he wouldn't have needed had he not been punched).

A City trader has been cleared of killing a company vice-president in an alcohol-fuelled row over a woman.

201004281610.jpg

Jeremy Aylmer, 36, held his head in his hands after being acquitted of manslaughter at Inner London crown court. He was accused of “pole-axing” IT executive Charles Cox, 56, with a single “vicious” punch outside Floridita, in Wardour Street, in November 2007.

Mr Cox, of South Kensington, a member of the CBI and the Institute of Policy Studies, fell backwards, hitting his head on the pavement and suffering a fractured skull.

Mr Aylmer insisted the older man was the “aggressor” who pushed him, shouting “f**k off, f**k off”, causing the petroleum trader to retaliate with a punch.

Andrew Campbell-Tiech, QC, defending, suggested Mr Cox's death could have been caused by the naso-gastric tube he was being fed with. Jurors heard Mr Cox was married but separated from his wife, and worked for Hewlett Packard-owned EDS.

The full story is in today's London Evening Standard.

I believe in our justice system. But that doesn't mean that I am not incredibly saddened to see it work in this way - plainly a punch was thrown and it resulted in Charles fracturing his skull and, much later, despite the care of multiple hospitals, his death. QED.

9 comments:

  1. I think you've missed the point....the punch was thrown because Mr Aylmer was pushed and sworn at by the victim (evidence that I believe was shown in CCTV footage) and then the victim fell over and hit his head - it was clearly an accident and I have no doubt that most guys would respond in exactly the same way to somebody pushing them and swearing at them. Put yourself in Mr Aylmer's shoes for one minute and think about it.
    Do you REALLY think somebody deserves up to 4 years in prison for defending themselves - I think not and I think justice was clearly done.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous10:37 pm

    Sorry Anna, but you are plain wrong. We've all been in situations when a guy gets aggressive and that's a time for men to walk away from trouble, calm it down or else escalate it and reap the storm.

    Once you throw a punch at another man then you have really thrown the dice and any outcome is possible after that, in Hollywood no-one gets hurt, in RL, someone invariably does.

    Aylmer is old enough to know better and behaved himself, rather than depend on courtroom excuses - whatever happened to men takin personal responsibility & accountability?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jackie10:44 pm

    I agree with the author.

    The question is whether or not the defendant felt his life was in danger.  But the papers seem to paint the deceased as a 55 year old IT professional in a suit holding an umbrella and briefcase.  How life threatening is that?  Besides, what is wrong with turning around and walking away? Do we really think violence is the appropriate response to everything these days?

    Four years in prison may be a bit harsh, I agree with that. But to not have any punishment is a failing of the system. Let's hope the defendant has a bit of heart, knows what he has done and is a changed person to never react in the same way again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hazel1:52 am

    I know mr aylmer and I know he is thoughtful and kind.I believe he will carry this event heavily in his heart and mind for the rest of his days. I think that is the real punishment - sticking someone in prison for a tragic turn of events like this helps no one.

    I hope mr coxs family can move on with their lives and my heart goes out to them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anna ...I don't think I have missed the point; but I do agree I don't know enough and, it seems, neither do you.  Neither of us have seen the suppsoed CCTV footage that you mention.  Throwing a punch at someone isn't accidental; throwing one that is hard enough to take someone down - with a single hit - is certainly not accidental.  what happened after that is just what happened.  I knew Charles for many year and knew him as a kind, gentle man who I'd never heard swear, never heard say an unkind word about anyone and certainly never saw in an aggressive state (alcohol fuelled or otherwise).

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hazel, you're right.  there's nothing more to do but move on, for everyone; the justice system has had its turn.   Alan

    ReplyDelete
  7. SLATFATF2:07 pm

    Its hard to tell if justice was done from a legal perspective and as none of us has the evidence I doubt we will ever be able to make a worthwhile assessment.

    But what matters is that it leaves a sickening feeling in ones stomach and a feeling that this is just wrong.    A good man is lost to a violent act that was avoidable.  The assailant did not get punishment for his part in the scuffle.  Charles was punished for his alledged actions by losing his life.  That does not seem right or fair somehow.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree.... and as the Jury found Charles was the agressor, sadly there is no one to blame but him.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous10:26 pm

    Charles Cox was my best friend and an extraordinarily kind, intelligent and beautiful man who was well-loved by many. I'm incredulous that Aylmer got off with absolutely nothing after hitting Charles hard enough to crack his skull with one punch, when all Charles did was push him and tell him to f. off, and especially when all evidence supports that Aylmer was the aggressor (and jackass) *and* 20 years younger. Aylmer hurt a lot of people with his violent stupidity. I am thankful for the joy and pure delight Charles brought into my life and I know many people feel the same way. And we all miss him very, very much. Nothing done to Aylmer will change things now, but when justice isn't done, it cheapens life.

    ReplyDelete