Date: 10 Sep 2014
Place: Deansgate, Manchester
Michael Carter died after being punched.
He was a Manchester United fan and had been involved in a fight with some Manchester City supporters in the early hours of 31 August 2014 following a night out in Manchester city centre.
During the fight he was punched in the face and fell backwards onto his head, suffering a brain injury from which he died of ten days later on 10 September 2014.
It was heard that later during the night out, Michael Carter and the friend that he had been out with decided to get a takeaway and that whilst at the takeaway restaurant they got into some friendly banter with two Manchester City fans about football. The two groups then separated, but moments later met up again in Deansgate and a fight broke out.
At the inquest, it was heard that the evidence was not clear as to whether Michael Carter had punched one of the Manchester City fans or whether one of them had made the first move.
The inquest heard that there was a small mark on Michael Carter's left hand to suggest that he might have thrown a punch but concluded that there was not enough evidence to conclude that.
The legal counsel of the Manchester City fan that was alleged to have hit Michael Carter said that the Manchester City fan had been acting in self-defence and that his punch was an instinctive reaction.
The Coroner said that Michael Carter's death was caused by the head injury and impact of the blow thrown by the Manchester City fan. He said, 'In the early hours of the morning on Deansgate the deceased became involved in a physical altercation with another person. He fell to the ground and sustained a head injury, from which he later died'.
The Crown Prosecution Service said there was not enough evidence to prosecute anyone. They said, 'The CPS carefully considered all the available evidence about the incident which led to the tragic death of Michael Carter. This included detailed reviews of all the statements provided to the police, police reports about the incident and evidence from the post-mortem. After taking into account all of this evidence we concluded that it was unlikely that a jury in a trial could be sure that the Manchester City fan was not acting in self-defence of himself or his friend when he punched Michael Carter, and it was therefore more likely than not that a jury would not convict the Manchester City fan for murder or manslaughter. Where a case does not pass this evidential test, a prosecution cannot proceed. We also concluded that there was insufficient evidence to bring any charges against the other Manchester City fan. We have explained the reasons for our decision in detail to Mr Carter’s family and appreciate that this remains a very difficult time for them'.