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Paignton bodybuilder 'flattened man with one punch'

By Herald Express  |  Posted: February 09, 2013

Exeter Crown Court

A 23-STONE bodybuilder attacked his friend and estranged wife in the street after a day drinking in Paignton, a court has been told.

George Doneathy, 45, allegedly flattened Sean Collins with a single punch then gave him a savage beating as he lay unconscious on the ground. He denies the charge.

Exeter Crown Court was told as his friend was being wheeled into the back of an ambulance an unrepentant Doneathy shouted, 'Sean, you're dead'.

The victim woke up in hospital three days later suffering from a punctured lung, cracked ribs, fractures to his back and a missing tooth.

Doneathy denies causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr Collins and actual bodily harm to Andrea Doneathy during the same incident on July 22 last year. He says he acted in self-defence.

The prosecution at his trial described 6ft 4in and 23-stone Doneathy as a 'large and powerful' man who was capable of being a very violent person. It emerged that in 2002 he was convicted for shooting somebody with a sawn-off shot gun causing him serious injuries.

The jury was told Doneathy and his wife had been in a relationship for more than 20 years, but were separated at the time of the incident.

Mr Collins said he had got to know Doneathy a few months before and, knowing about his marital problems, felt sorry for him and agreed to let him stay at his house rent free.

The pair had spent the day drinking together in Paignton, Doneathy allegedly drinking about 15 pints of beer together with a number of shots.

Later in the evening the two men met up with Andrea Doneathy and all three went to the Spinning Wheel pub on the Esplanade where they continued to drink before leaving at 11pm.

The jury was shown CCTV images from the pub showing Mr Collins dancing with Andrea Doneathy while her husband sat at the bar. They then saw CCTV taken in Roundham Road a short time later showing Mr Collins and the woman walking together with Doneathy himself some distance behind.

Prosecutor Sean Brunton said the images showed Doneathy apparently following the pair and hiding behind a car so he could not be seen.

Doneathy is then said to have used a side road as a short cut to get in front of the two victims before appearing in front of them to launch his attack, calling his wife a 'slag'.

Mr Brunton said: "For some reason best known to himself he attacked his friend and attacked his own wife". Mrs Doneathy sustained relatively minor injuries but her husband gave Mr Collins 'a sustained, repeated and exceedingly violent beating with his fists and with his feet'.

Mr Collins was 'punched, kicked, and stamped on repeatedly as he lay unconscious', said Mr Brunton. The beating was so violent and Doneathy so intimidating that, according to the prosecution, witnesses were afraid to intervene.

Giving evidence, a clearly upset Mr Collins recalled that Doneathy had launched his attack by slapping Andrea Doneathy in the face.

He said he had tried to intervene by trying to grab him to stop him hitting her. He could not remember what happened next.

Doneathy is then alleged to have resisted arrest and threatened police, only calming down when they warned him they would use a Taser stun device.

The trial, which has yet to hear Doneathy's defence, continues.

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