Man on manslaughter charge over ASDA car park death

By Neil Logan

Alan Watts, aged 65, has appeared at Bedford Magistrates' Court on a charge of manslaughter following an incident at an Asda car park which resulted in the death of 64-year-old Brian Holmes.

The two men are said to have got into a disagreement in the disabled parking area of the ASDA car park in Biggleswade, and Mr Holmes fell to the ground after being punched. He sustained a serious head injury and was taken to Addenbrookes Hospital where he later died. Just days before his death Mr Holmes had been given the all-clear following treatment for cancer.

Mr Watts did not enter a plea before the magistrates when the charge of manslaughter was read out to him. He will appear at Luton Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on 28th August. He was granted bail on a number of conditions, including that he cannot drive any motor vehicle, or go back to the ASDA supermarket where the incident took place.

Unfortunately there are many incidents of what would be considered fairly petty rows escalating to criminal charges, and in this case, resulting in the death of a man and a manslaughter charge for another.

That both men were in their 60s shows that such incidents are not confined to hot-headed youths, and in fact many neighbour disputes and road rage incidents involve older people.

It is important to prevent a row from escalating out of proportion, but the difficulty is that many people see it as backing down, or losing face. The consequences however, as in this case, can be drastic. We advise our clients to avoid unnecessary arguments over meaningless things such as car park spaces, as while they may be able to maintain their composure, they do not know the person they are arguing with and what they are capable of.

If you require legal advice from a criminal solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 0546.