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'I hit him once-that's God's honest truth'.

Byline: By Liz Keen South Wales Echo

The young dad, whose punch killed a teenager in Cardiff city centre, told police he was only trying to stop a fight. Nineteen-year-old hairdresser Michael Evans died six days after being knocked to the ground and banging his head.

Muscat, also 19 at the time, and the father of two children, denies manslaughter, saying he was acting in self defence.

In interviews following his arrest at his family's home in Somerset Street, Grangetown, Cardiff, he told officers: "I genuinely did think he was going to have a dig at me.

"I punched him once - that's the God's honest truth - I only punched him once.

"I hit him on the chin and that was it."

He said he had gone out with his partner Donna Newbury and their friends that night because it was her birthday - and he had proposed to her in the Star of India restaurant.

But by the time they were walking though town to Caroline Street, known locally as "chip alley", at 2am, his group was arguing amongst themselves and his new fiancee was crying.

Michael Evans' friends say that the trouble started after Michael said something to a man in Muscat's group whom they saw hit a girl.

Muscat agreed words were exchanged and said one of his friends who may have had 20 or 30 pints that night because "he drinks like a fish", went across to Michael and looked like he might give him "a hammering". He said: "I'd just got engaged - I didn't want to fight - I'd wanted to go home. "I said 'Whoa, pack it in' as if to say chill out', just trying to stop them having a go. "He (Michael) turned and I thought 'Oh s*** he's going to have a pop at me' and I hit him."
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 16, 2007
Words:305
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