Sam Kirk's foster brother 'felt threatened' before punching him
A TEENAGER who died a week after being punched in the face was hit by his foster brother because he thought he was going to headbutt him, an inquest has heard.
Kyle Allen said he felt "quite threatened" by Sam Kirk and was just "reacting" when he punched him in the early hours of July 20, 2010.
But, when coroner Dr Robert Hunter asked Mr Allen why he did not just walk away from Mr Kirk, he said: "I don't know why I didn't just walk away."
Dr Hunter told the inquest into Mr Kirk's death how, in a police interview, Mr Allen had told police: "Sam started on me and I lost it."
The inquest had previously heard how Mr Kirk hit his head against a wall and fell to the ground after being punched by Mr Allen.
Mr Kirk – a labourer and a keen skateboarder – died seven days later at Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre due to complications related to his injuries.
During the hearing at Derby and South Derbyshire Coroner's Court yesterday, Mr Allen said Mr Kirk – who had been drinking at the former's home in Stanley Street, Derby – had been sick and he had offered to take him home. But he said Mr Kirk was being "threatening" and "challenging" and raised his voice, before the pair moved into the alleyway leading to Mr Allen's front door.
Mr Allen said Mr Kirk leaned forward towards him and was repeating himself. He said: "At that point, when Sam leaned back, I felt like he was going to headbutt me."
But Dr Hunter told the court none of the other witnesses to the incident said Mr Kirk raised his voice. He asked Mr Allen: "You lost it and you punched him?"
Mr Allen replied: "No."
The court also heard how Mr Kirk's stepfather, David Higginbottom, had gone to Mr Allen's house to get more information after his stepson was taken to hospital.
When Dr Hunter asked Mr Allen why he chose not to tell Mr Higginbottom he had punched Mr Kirk, he said: "I don't know why I chose not to, I just didn't."
The court also heard evidence from Mr Kirk's mother, Tracy Higginbottom, said she did not find out Mr Kirk had been punched until a friend of the teenager told them at the hospital.
The inquest continues.