A MARTIAL arts expert was punched, kicked and stamped to death in a “brutal and sustained attack”, a court has heard.

The first day of Owen and Ryan Wood’s murder trial at Chelmsford Crown Court was told Liam Holden, 35, was killed after sustaining fatal injuries when he was set upon outside the Euro Lounge nightclub, in Grays, with his partner Mandy Patient.

He suffered 31 separate injuries to his head, arms, upper body and legs, three broken ribs and a fractured skull. He also had an imprint of a shoe on his right temple. The court was told all were caused by punching, kicking and stamping.

Mr Holden, from Grays, who had an 11-year-old son with Miss Patient, died on Sunday, March 10 at Queens Hospital, in Romford, following the attack in Morrisons car park, in London Road.

Brothers Owen Wood, 24, and Ryan Wood, 21, of Godman Road, Grays deny murdering Mr Holden.

The court heard Mr Holden had been out celebrating a friend’s birthday with Miss Patient at TGI Friday’s and Las Iguanas at Lakeside before going to the Euro Lounge.

Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, told the jury the couple left the nightclub after Miss Patient had a disagreement with staff after they had opened a toilet door while she was inside.

Mr Jackson said why Owen and Ryan Wood, who had nothing to do with the incident, took it upon themselves to become involved and “chase and murder” Mr Holden, only they know.

He said the brothers had not known Mr Holden before that night.

He said it was “violence for the sake of violence” and they “intended to kill or cause serious bodily harm.”

Ryan Wood handed himself into the police four days later and Owen Wood was arrested in Grimsby on March 15, having gone on the run.

Mr Jackson said Owen Wood later told police: “My brother didn’t do nothing. It was me. There’s something wrong with me.”

The brothers accounts of events were described by Mr Jackson as “a concerted effort to act together to concoct a false defence.”

He said Miss Patient, who had been living with Mr Holden for 15 years, was unable to stop the attack on the “gentle giant” who was a black belt in Tang Soo Do.

Miss Patient, who is due to give more evidence tomorrow, said: “He was an affectionate and magical man who kept himself to himself.”

The trial continues.