According to testimony in court, the banking executive “fell like a plank of wood” after a stranger fatally punched him during an argument over a stolen phone.
The general manager of Qatar National Bank’s (QNB) UK operation passed away six months after being repeatedly punched by an unknown person after a night out at a London restaurant, a London court heard on Wednesday.
Paul Mason was attacked by Steven Allan, 34, outside The Ivy in Covent Garden on December 15, 2020. Mason passed away on June 4, 2021, despite efforts by doctors who had replaced a portion of his skull with titanium, according to testimony in the trial at the Old Bailey, reported The Times.
The restaurant’s location is on West Street, where Allan confronted Mason as he was walking home after putting a friend in a taxi.
After a night of drinking, Allan allegedly charged across the street and tried to take Mason’s mobile, accusing him of attempting to steal a phone from one of his friends.
Allan struck Mason with his right fist, stopping him in his tracks as he attempted to continue his journey.
“He appears then to lean down towards Mason, who is at the same time trying to shrug him off and move away from the defendant,” stated Jane Bickerstaff KC, for the prosecution, according to The Times.
“The defendant then punched Mr Mason a second time while he was trying to get back to his feet. He then punches him a third time with an upper-cut that causes Mr Mason to fly back and land on his back, with his head hitting the pavement.”
When Mason attempted to get up, Allan reportedly laid into him with an uppercut and yelled, “Where’s your fight now?” as the victim lay unresponsive.
Nurse Laura Gil Selva testified in court that she had witnessed Allan yelling at Mason before striking him hard enough to cause bleeding on the face.
“She saw that as Mr Mason went to the floor for the final time, his head hit the floor, making a loud sound,” Bickerstaff said.
“She recalls that as she sought to help the victim, the defendant said to her something like, ‘Don’t touch him or help him. You don’t know what he did. He’s kidnapped my nephew.’ ”
Hampshire’s Hook resident Allan admits manslaughter but disputes murder as the trial continues.