THE last man to see a teenager alive was subsequently attacked by one of his friends seeking “justice”, a court has heard.

Carl Ford died after he got stuck on top of a gate in St John’s Road, Colchester.

Sean Murphy was the last person to see the 19-year-old before his death, Chelmsford Crown Court was told.

Carl, of Primrose Walk, Colchester, caught his head or neck in the metal-spiked 7ft gate and got trapped, leaving him unable to breathe.

He was found by a member of the public on March 1, 2009, at about 8.15pm. He was pronounced dead in hospital about ten hours later.

Mr Ford’s friend Liam Winter bumped into Mr Murphy in the Wig and Pen pub in Colchester’s High Street on April 21, 2009.

Winter and his friend Craig Moodie followed Mr Murphy and another man, Lance Mead, and assaulted them in North Station Road.

Mr Murphy suffered a swollen head and face, a suspected fractured cheekbone and nose, stiff neck and soreness to the kidney area.

Mr Mead had bruises to his head and neck.

Winter, 22, of Forest Road, Colchester, and Moodie, 19, of Goldfinch Close, Colchester, both admitted two charges of actual bodily harm.

Raj Joshi, mitigating, said Winter was still on anti-depressants prescribed by his GP after the death of his close friend, who he regarded as an older brother.

Moodie got involved out of misplaced loyalty to Winter, the court was told.

Recorder Karen Walden-Smith told Winter: “It was not for you to take the law into your own hands and in some way mete out some justice you feel may be owed.

“It’s not for you to know or carry out what you think might be right.

“This offence was committed when your emotions were running high and you felt you could provide some misplaced retribution for what you think may have happened.”

Winter was given a ten-month prison term, suspended for 18 months, with supervision, attendance on a substance abuse programme and an electronically tagged curfew for three months between 9pm and 7am.

Moodie was given a 12-month community order with supervision.

Both men, who are on benefits, were also ordered to pay each of the victims £120 compensation.

* An inquest into the cause of Mr Ford’s death has been opened and adjourned.