A banker was killed by a single punch for talking to a group of young women about high heels and baby pictures, a court has heard.
Oliver Dearlove, 30, was friendly and polite as he chatted with the women in the street after a night out in Blackheath, south-east London, on August 28 last year, jurors were told.
The casual exchange, lasting no more than 20 seconds, prompted Trevor Timon, 31, to fly into a rage and launch his "unprovoked and senseless" attack, the court heard.
Timon, of Heavitree Road, Plumstead, south-east London, is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of murder.
Prosecutor Anthony Orchard QC told jurors: "The attack upon Oliver Dearlove took place on a warm August bank holiday evening, in the quiet leafy streets of Blackheath.
"He stood on the pavement not far from a nightclub. The attack was unprovoked and senseless. It appears to have been motivated by the defendant's perceived sense of grievance that Oliver Dearlove and two of his male friends were talking to a group of young women, whom Trevor Timon knew."
The victim lived with his long-term girlfriend in New Eltham and worked in the City as a banker, the court heard.
On Saturday August 27 last year, he was on a night out with friends in Blackheath, ending up at Zerodegrees bar and restaurant until just after midnight.
Timon was in the nearby Morden's nightclub along with the women, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
The women left the club, followed by Timon, just as Mr Dearlove and his friends emerged from Zerodegrees and set off in the same direction, the court heard.
Mr Dearlove had politely asked one of the women if she was hurt after she took off her high heels and began walking slowly along Tranquil Vale.
She laughingly replied: "You know what, my feet are killing me", jurors were told.
She went on to tell Mr Dearlove that it was her first night out since giving birth, and he commented to his friends: "She had a baby four weeks ago, doesn't she look well?"
The woman produced pictures and Mr Dearlove was "very polite" as he complimented her on having a beautiful baby, jurors heard.
Timon, who knew the group of women, allegedly stormed in and demanded to know what they were talking about.
He allegedly shouted: "Who the f*** are you boys?" and told Mr Dearlove: "If you don't move on, I'll knock you out."
One of the women stood between them and told Timon to "just go", jurors heard.
Mr Orchard said: "The next thing that happened was the defendant hit Oliver Dearlove.
"The punch skimmed her face. She saw Oliver Dearlove fall and as he fell his whole body twisted. She screamed 'He hit him, he hit him'."
The victim, who was punched in the head and neck, collapsed in the street and was pronounced dead less than 24 hours later.
Asked why he did it, Timon allegedly told one of the women: "I'm pissed off."
Mr Orchard said the defendant had pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies murder.
He said the only issue was whether he intended to cause Mr Dearlove "really serious bodily harm" when he punched him.
After the attack, Timon walked away and later tried calling one of the four women, three of whom are sisters.
In an attempt to explain what happened, he allegedly told her that one of Mr Dearlove's party appeared to lean down to their socks.
Mr Orchard told jurors to examine CCTV footage which showed Mr Dearlove was not wearing socks and his two friends were in flip flops.
The trial continues
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in