South Yorkshire dad died of head injuries, murder jury told

Dean Armitage
Dean Armitage
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A dad died from ‘massive’ head injuries after confronting a burglar who was trying to steal his Range Rover in the middle of the night.

Family man Dean Armitage, aged 49, ran outside in his underwear to tackle David Matthew Sindall – and suffered a ‘complex of fractures’ to his skull after hitting his head in the struggle, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Sindall kicked and punched Mr Armitage as he lay on the ground – then ran to a friend’s house where, ‘panicking and paranoid’, Sindall told him, ‘I might have killed somebody’, prosecutor Graham Reeds QC told jurors.

The 33-year-old admits manslaughter – but denies it was murder.

But the prosecution say he attacked Mr Armitage, who ran his own haulage firm, with ‘an intention to cause really serious harm’.

Mr Reeds said neighbour Trevor Thornton witnessed the tragedy – which was partially recorded on CCTV – outside Mr Armitage’s home on Skiers View Road, Hoyland, Barnsley.

“He saw Mr Armitage grab hold of the defendant, as if to pull him out of the vehicle,” said Mr Reeds.

“As they grappled he heard the defendant say, ‘I’ll show you’, before he hit Mr Armitage with a heavy blow, possibly with a torch he was carrying.

“That made Mr Armitage stumble, and they both started to stagger backwards and they fell together.

“Mr Armitage fell backwards and the defendant fell on top of him.

“Mr Armitage’s head hit the wall at the front of the house or the driveway.

“He suffered a massive skull fracture at the back of his head.”

He said Mr Thornton then saw Sindall kick Mr Armitage in the body, and punch or hit him as he lay on the ground.

The trial continues.

* See The Star tomorrow for a full report