A teenager who started performing the Gangnam Style dance in a corner shop was killed by an Asian boy who thought his dancing was racist, a court heard.
Jordan Brennan started doing the dance move made popular by South Korean artist Psy while visiting a corner shop with friends.
But his actions angered a 16-year-old boy in the store who thought his Chinese ethnicity was being mocked.
A struggle broke out between the teenagers when the 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, demanded Jordan, 17, apologise after he bumped into him.
As they tussled near the doorway, Jordan fell back and hit his head on metal shutters outside the shop in Gorton, Manchester, before his head hit the concrete floor below.
The attacker then kicked him in the legs before returned to his shopping.
Jordan got to his feet and walked home not realising he had suffered a fatal head injury.
He was found lifeless in bed the following morning when his mother Kim tried to raise him for breakfast.
Tests showed he had suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain during the incident on October 10 last year.
The killer admitted manslaughter at Manchester Crown Court today after his not guilty plea to murder was accepted.
Jordan started to dance after entering the corner shop in ‘high spirits’, the court heard, and within 17 seconds there was a ‘flashpoint’ between the two teenagers.
The dance was popularised when the music video to Gangnam Style went viral in 2012. In it, South Korean pop star Psy repeats a ‘horse-riding move’ as part of the dance routine.
Prosecutor Rob Hall said: ‘On one view that is Jordan being in high spirits and exuberant and dancing to a popular current song, and on another view, and the view held by the defendant, is that the performance was a racist slur against him because of his appearance and ethnicity.
‘The Crown would simply say the evidence is inconsistent as to the motivation of Jordan at the time. We understand why the defendant reached the conclusion that he did.’
Mr Hall made clear that it was never a case where the attacker had any intention to kill, however he may have intended to cause serious harm.
The boy accepts challenging Jordan and kicking him while he lay on the ground, it was said.
He maintains he didn’t have any idea that Jordan’s injury would be serious until he saw media coverage and realised he was the subject of a manhunt and then turned himself in.
Reading his basis of plea, defence barrister Kate Blackwell QC said: ‘The defendant accepts committing the unlawful act that led to the death.
‘The deceased made remarks on the appearance of the defendant that he found racist in tone. They were making him embarrassed and angered him in front of his girlfriend.’
It emerged he then followed Jordan out of the shop when he had his back to him in an attempt to force him to look at him and apologise, it was said.
She added: ‘The defendant made contact with the deceased as he spun around and pulled and pushed him.
‘The movement appeared to be the defendant punching towards him but none connected.
‘The deceased banged against the metal shutters and fell to the floor. He banged the left side of his head on the concrete pavement.
‘The defendant continued to argue with him and kicked him in the leg in anger at his refusal to apologise.’
The 17-year-old has been bailed until his sentencing in March.
Judge David Stockdale QC told him: ‘The fact I have granted you bail does not provide an indication of the type of sentence I may pass.
‘What I mean by that is the fact that you have been on bail does not mean that you won’t receive an immediate custodial sentence.’
At the time of Jordan’s death, his father Nigel Hatton said: ‘We’ll always remember his smile and his loveable face. He was always very happy, always smiling.
‘At school he was a very good friend and he always listened to his mates. His two passions were BMXing and fishing.
‘We can’t describe the impact it’s had on us. We’ve lost our son at 17, and we didn’t expect to. If someone you love falls in or gets old, then you can start to take stock of things – but we never got a chance. You see this happen in the news to other people, but you don’t expect it to happen to you.’
In a statement Jordan’s mother said: ‘Our son Jordan Brennan was 17 years old and was a well liked young man. He was a loveable rogue and was always polite and keen to help anyone who needed his help, be that physical help or just to listen to a friend.
‘He would cheer them up with his usual larking about or joking around. He was a pleasure to have as a son and his loss is devastating. He was greatly loved by all that knew him.’
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