A Warwickshire teenager plunged off a bridge into a river after being assaulted by his friend during a night out, a court heard.
Mark Hoolichan, 21, is accused of killing Jack McLeod during an “outburst of temper”, which caused the 17-year-old to fall to his death in Leamington Spa.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that the pair had been drinking at an Irish nightclub on the night of Jack’s disappearance on December 4, 2005.
The teenager’s body was found in the River Leam a month later during a police search. He died from the shock of falling into the water, a process known as dry drowning, the jury was told.
Opening the case for the prosecution, Anthony Barker QC said Hoolichan had an injury to his back following the incident, indicating signs of a struggle.
He said: “There was an outburst of temper by him which resulted in Jack being ejected from the bridge into the river.”
Mr Barker said Hoolichan, of Stubby Lane, Wolverhampton, maintained that he had left his drunken friend on a bench near the river.
The prosecution claims that Hoolichan, who worked for Burger King at the time, assaulted Jack on Adelaide Bridge, causing the teenager to fall into the river below.
Mr Barker said the defendant had told “different stories to different people” following Jack’s disappearance.
He told the jury: “What you will have to deal with is someone telling a series of different stories about what had happened and where he had finally left him.
“The question I ask you to consider is why would he be saying that if what he was doing was telling the truth?”
Hoolichan denies manslaughter and an alternative charge of manslaughter by gross negligence.
Jack, of Leamington Spa, had been drinking alcohol the night he died, the court was told. Tests carried out on his body, which was found by a police river search team on January 3, 2006, showed he was three times over the legal driving limit.
The trial was adjourned until Thursday.