A JURY have retired to consider whether a Llanddarog man was acting in self-defence when he twice punched his former best friend after a night out.

Joshua Archer, 30, of Cross Hands Road, denies a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm relating to an incident in Carmarthen on December 27 last year.

He claims he was acting in self-defence.

The complainant sustained a “traumatic brain injury”, prosecutor Jim Davis told the court, as well as an injury to the back of his skull and a broken nose.

He did not give evidence during the trial due to having no memory of the incident.

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The court heard that both Archer and the complainant – also from Llanddarog – had been out in Carmarthen that evening with separate groups of friends.

The pair briefly bumped in to each other earlier on, and spoke briefly about their Christmases and families. Archer told the court there was “no animosity” between the pair in that conversation.

Mr Davis told the jury that self-defence meant that “a person is entitled to use reasonable force when necessary to defend themselves.”

“It’s clear that [the complainant] was drunk,” he said. “Also it looks as though he was irritating, perhaps even argumentative.”

However, Mr Davis said the response by Archer was “unjustified, excessive and unnecessary”.

The defendant left his group of friends to pick up a curry for him and his wife. As he headed towards the curry house, he came across the complainant near the square.

He said the complainant approached him saying “What’s the craic?” and was “very aggressive” towards him.

CCTV footage saw the two men walking together through Guildhall Square, when the complainant pushed Archer over a bench.

After getting up, Archer punched the complainant, who fell to the floor. Archer walked away, and the complainant got to his feet.

The defendant said he had “felt vulnerable” and he had “jarred” and “locked” his knee when he was pushed over the bench .

Archer could then be seen returning, and the two started walking together in the opposite direction.

When asked why he returned by defence counsel Robin Rouch, Archer said: “My knowledge of [the complainant’s] medical history. I wanted to check on him”, before adding that he wanted to get him back to his friends.

Then, there was a second exchange, with the two men in close proximity to each other.

A local resident told the court that she heard the two men “shouting and swearing at each other” and that their speech was “very slurred”.

Archer then punched the complainant again and he fell backwards, hitting his head on the ground. Archer tried to get the complainant up before putting him in the recovery position. He then made a phone call, and somebody went to get a first aid kit from the nearby coffee shop while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Archer told the jury that the complainant had grabbed his collar and “upper-cutted” him in the chin. He said he again felt vulnerable and had then punched the complainant.

“He was no threat to you,” Mr Davis put to Archer.

The complainant was taken to the University Hospital of Wales with “life-threatening” injuries.

Archer told the jury he was “devastated” by the injuries the complainant sustained.

The jury retired on Friday, November 17 and will resume deliberations on Monday.