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By Connie Osborne Tuesday 18 February 2014 Updated: 19/02 10:16
A TEENAGER convicted of killing a Lakeside man could serve just two years behind bars.
The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to four years in a youth detention unit at Worcester Crown Court on Monday (February 17) after being found guilty of manslaughter. But he could serve just half of the sentence after which he will be let out on licence.
The youth punched Nigel Shakespeare in the face in Sillins Avenue on February 24, last year. The 50-year-old, who was from Holloway Lane, was walking home with partner Jacqueline Cull after a night out at the Kings Arms pub when he was involved in an altercation with a group of youths.
Adam Haylor, 18, who was found guilty of assault by actual bodily harm, swore at the pair as they walked past the group and when the former engineer challenged the youths, the 17-year-old punched him and knocked him to the floor.
He hit the back of his head on the ground and lost consciousness before Haylor, from Bushley Close, kicked him in the head.
Mr Shakespeare was taken to the Alexandra Hospital and was transfered to University Hospital Coventry where he died later that day.
Prosecutor, Gareth Walters, said the punch thrown by the youth was described by witnesses as a 'very heavy blow' and left Mr Shakespeare with a fractured cheek and nose.
But Jonas Hankin QC, defending, said the 17-year-old had acted in self defence after Mr Shakespeare allegedly hit him. He added he had no previous convictions, was of good character and had previously tried to act as a peace maker.
Mark Wall, defending on behalf of Haylor, said he had always tried to make the best of his life by continuing in education even whilst on bail and had no previous convictions.
Sentencing, Judge Robert Jukes QC, said there was nothing the court could do to replace the loss that Mr Shakespeare's death had cost anyone who knew him.
He said after an 'astonishing blow' from the 17-year-old, he fell 'like a stone', whilst Haylor's kick left a mark on his face which remained while he was in hospital.
He added he did not believe Mr Shakespeare had hit the youth and the pair would have never behaved as they did if they were not under the influence of alcohol.
He ordered Haylor to serve 30 months behind bars, which could also be halved.
Following the sentencing, Mr Shakespeare's sister Fran Shakespeare and Jacqueline Cull, said he was a happy, loving and generous person who would go out of his way to avoid trouble.
"His death has come as a shock and has devastated not only all of us but a lot of others as well, including his many friends. It’s something we will never recover from.
“We are grateful to the police for their work and the support they have given us and we are glad that justice has been done. However nothing is going to bring Nigel back to us - what happened is a tragic waste of a human life."
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