A BRITISH soldier who went to school in Urmston was stabbed to death during a nightclub brawl in Cyprus, 24 hours before he was was due to travel to Afghanistan.
Former St Antony’s Catholic College pupil David Lee Collins, 19, a fusilier with 2nd battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was ‘jumped’ by three teenagers after he confronted them on the dancefloor of the Black and White club in Ayia Napa, in November 2012.
He believed one of them had earlier punched him. After his death, Fusilier Collins’ girlfriend Aimee Williams found out she was pregnant with his child and later had a daugher, Ava.
An inquest heard a brawl broke out between Fusilier Collins and Mohammed Abdulkadir Osman and two other 17-year-olds, all from London.
Two other soldiers tried to break it up and punches were thrown. But Fusilier Collins was stabbed in the chest with a switchblade by Osman, 20, who later admitted manslaughter and was jailed for eight years.
Charges against the other teenagers were dropped. Giving evidence at the inquest into Fusilier Collins’ death, the two cleared teenagers told Stockport Coroner’s Court the three soldiers picked the fight.
In a statement, Osman claimed Fusilier Collins ‘jumped onto’ the knife during the disturbance. But coroner John Pollard said Fusilier Collins, from Chorlton, had suffered an earlier ‘unprovoked punch’ and recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.
Mr Pollard said: “I am still not entirely clear as to the exact order of events. I think it is probably fair to say that David decided that he was not going to stand for this and wanted to find out who had punched him. “
It is my view that his two colleagues were ready to assist him.
"There is no doubt Mohammed Osman stabbed him.”
The inquest heard Osman ‘probably’ left the club to collect the knife from a quad bike he was riding.
A collection of 11 knives and two knuckle dusters were later found in his hotel room.
Witness Fusilier Jordan Ramsbottom said Fusilier Collins was ‘surrounded then jumped’ and said he had been looking for his attacker.
He was thrown out by bouncers then found to be bleeding.
Fusilier Ramsbottom added: “David asked me whose blood was on his clothes.”
He went ‘dizzy’ and collapsed outside before colleagues battled to revive him, the inquest heard.
He was pronounced dead in hospital later. Fusilier Collins’ mum, Lisa Minott, 39, said the former pupil of St Anthony’s in Urmston, had wanted to be a soldier from the age of 11.
They spoke on the phone on the night of his death and she said David told her of his feeling about going to Afghanistan: “He was saying not to worry. This is what I joined up for.”
Ms Minott, clutching a handbag with a painted portrait of her son in uniform on the front, called the killing ‘senseless’.
She said outside court: “We call now upon everyone to show respect for our service men and women.
“Even now they are going to help those families who have been affected by the floods. “They deserve all our support.”