Argument over drugs led to death in Spalding on Christmas Day

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A land worker accused of killing a man with a single punch was cleared of manslaughter on Monday after telling a jury he acted in self defence.

The jury of eight men and four women took less than an hour to return a not guilty verdict in the trial of Guntars Gansons when they resumed their deliberations at Lincoln Crown Court yesterday morning.

Gansons admitted he confronted 21-year-old Martins Lipsis at a house in Winsover Road, Spalding following the discovery of a stash of drugs but he told the jury he only struck out after Mr Lipsis went to hit him.

Gansons said he felt angry over the drugs issue and when he arrived at the property he went straight upstairs to see Mr Lipsis.

But when asked to apologise for the drugs Mr Lipsis told him: “I don’t care”.

Gansons said: “I told him that if next time he brought any drugs or anything like that I will punch him for it.

“He said ‘I don’t care. If you want to fight, I can fight’.

“He got up. I was very close to him. Then what happened was he just came at me.

“I grabbed his hands to stop him hitting me. I thought he was going to punch me. He was trying to hit me. I punched him. I hit him on the right side of the cheek.

“It was self defence. I just wanted him to get away from me. It wasn’t over because we were still pushing each other.”

Gansons said he eventually released his grip when Mr Lipsis became calmer.

“I asked him if he was alright because he started coughing. He didn’t give me a reply. I thought he was ok.

“When I left I remember he was sitting down on the side of the bed. Then I went out of the door.”

Gansons, who had recently moved to the UK from Ireland, only met Mr Lipsis shortly before the incident.

He told the jury he “definitely” did not want to either kill Mr Lipsis or cause him really serious harm.

Gansons (26), of Pennygate, Spalding, denied a charge of manslaughter on December 25 last year.

The jury heard that the incident between the men happened on two days earlier with Mr Lipsis failing to regain consciousness before he died in hospital. He had suffered bleeding on the brain.

The prosecution argued that Gansons acted in anger rather than self defence when he delivered the fatal blow.