A man has been cleared of killing a Hogmanay reveller after trouble flared at a city centre taxi rank on New Year’s Day.
Wes Reid, 20, landed a single punch on Brian Fox, who fell and hit his head on the ground.
The 62-year-old, who had been trying to act as a peacemaker, suffered a fatal head injury in the incident at Nethergate in Dundee in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
Reid, of Newport Road, Tayport, had denied killing Mr Fox and maintained he acted in self defence.
A jury at the High Court in Edinburgh acquitted him of culpable homicide on Friday on a majority not guilty verdict.
The court had been told Mr Fox approached a group of people including Reid and was heard to say “calm down”.
Following the verdict the trial judge told jurors the victim appeared to have done “absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever”.
Lord Beckett said: “The punch which caused him to fall and die was one punch from a young person and it occurred in circumstances where Mr Fox, a much larger man, was approaching the person and reaching out.”
The judge said it had been “a very difficult case”.
During an interview with police, Reid told officers he thought he was going to be punched and struck out with his right hand before Mr Fox hit the ground.
Asked how he felt when he learned he had died, he replied: “Extremely bad. Awful.”
The Crown had sought a guilty verdict against Reid for culpable homicide.
Advocate depute Mark McGuire told jurors: “Brian Fox sought to help to try to diffuse the situation, to try to get people to calm down and it cost him his life.”
Reid’s co-accused Adam Valentine, 25, had originally faced a charge of killing Mr Fox while acting together with Reid.
He later admitted a reduced charge of assaulting Mr Fox by punching him on the body. The attack happened after the fatal blow had been struck.
Valentine was also found guilty of a further assault at the taxi rank.
Sandra Baird had been out for a meal with a friend before she was knocked unconscious when he pushed her to the ground.
She suffered a wound to her chin and has been left with tinnitus after the blow to her head. Reid was convicted of assaulting her to her severe injury and to the danger of her life.
The attacks at the taxi rank were caught on camera and the jury were shown CCTV footage during the trial.
Sentence was deferred on first offender Valentine, a prisoner in Perth, until next month for the preparation of a background report.