A footballer was punched to the floor and killed following an argument on a night out, a court heard.
Jordan Sinnott, 25, was allegedly provoked in a pub by Kai Denovan, 22, who told him he was a “good-looking lad”.
Prosecutors say Denovan then added a “honeytrap” comment, by saying the midfielder would have no trouble “pulling girls” – unlike him, who was “fat and ginger”.
Sinnott was attacked after he joined in with the “self-deprecating” humour by replying: “Yes I can see that.”
Cameron Matthews, 21, has already admitted manslaughter while Sean Nicholson, 22, has pleaded guilty to affray.
Denovan denies manslaughter and is currently on trial.
Prosecutor Michael Auty QC told jurors: “Mr Denovan was never interested in apologies, only his own, warped, dangerous version of justice.
“Yes, it was Cameron Matthews that delivered the fatal blow, but who drove the charge? Who started the violence? Who was determined to see it through?
“That was Kai Denovan.
“There was never any threat of violence from Jordan Sinnott or from either of his friends.
“The violence was instigated, perpetuated, and at all times driven by Kai Denovan, from first through to last. He initiated the pursuit of Jordan Sinnott, plainly with violence in mind.
“This was a pack hunting down and exacting retribution.”
Sinnott, who played for non-league Matlock Town, died in hospital following the attack in Retford, Notts., in the early hours of January 25 this year.
He had been enjoying a night out with his girlfriend’s brother Ben Bossons and their friend Adam Towlson.
Mr Auty said Denovan’s comment in The Vine Pub had no “acceptable response”.
He explained: “If you just ignore it, you are ignorant. If you say, ‘no, you are perfectly slim and wonderful’, you are mocking him.
“Jordan Sinnott went for the only other option, saying words to the effect of, ‘yes, I can see that’…
“Despite there really never being an acceptable response, and you may conclude it was contrived and designed to be a deliberate provocation, Kai Denovan flew into an immediate rage, albeit one of his own making.
“It was a deliberate honeytrap by a man hell-bent on trouble for no good reason other than the simple pleasure of it.”
Sinnott and his friends left the pub after Denovan punched him.
But Nottingham Crown Court heard the trio were followed and then attacked in the town’s market square.
Matthews is said to have punched Sinnott at least twice causing him to fall and suffer a fatal injury.
Dovan, Matthews and Nicholson, are all from Retford.
The case continues.