A MANSLAUGHTER trial has opened following the death of a gym instructor.

Bobby Nethercott, 33, whose address was given as HMP Chelmsford, appeared in Chelmsford Crown Court today where he was accused of the manslaughter of 40-year-old Michelle Cooper in April 2021. 

He denies the charge.

The court heard after falling to the floor and smacking her head off the road, Mrs Cooper initially regained consciousness, but her condition deteriorated and she later died at Colchester Hospital.

The jury was told a party had been taking place on a Friday night in Beach Way, Jaywick, before a misunderstanding sparked an argument resulting in a 16-year-old being chased from the property.


Wayne Cleaver, prosecuting, said: “What was a minor misunderstanding sparked violence which spiralled along the street, which led to an attack on Michelle Cooper.”

In the melee which ensued, the court heard Nethercott allegedly landed what turned out to be a fatal blow on Mrs Cooper, who was a mother-of-three.

Mr Cleaver said: “He was prepared to use violence, even against a woman, and that’s exactly what he did to Michelle Cooper - he struck her in such a way so as to have deadly affect.”

Mr Cleaver then recounted evidence from an individual who witnessed the incident in Beach Way.

“The witness saw a man in a white t-shirt who punched Mrs Cooper to the face so hard that it knocked her off her feet and knocked her to the ground, leaving her in a star fish position.

“We say that the man who dealt that blow was Nethercott.”

Mr Cleaver said Mrs Cooper was then kicked in the head whilst she lay unconscious on the ground.

“Whilst she lay motionless on the ground, she was then assaulted again by Nethercott and others.”

As the incident continued, the court heard how Mrs Cooper’s daughter Chloe dialled 999, and relayed to the operator what was unfolding.

Reading out the call transcription, Mr Cleaver sad: “She was saying ‘We got jumped by people they are all beating up my nieces and that.

“The geezer just knocked every bird out.”

The trial continues.