Man sentenced for one-punch manslaughter
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A 24-year-old man has today (Monday, January 6) been sentenced to two years and eight months for the manslaughter of 56-year-old Peter Roberts who died 18 months after a one-punch assault in Brafield-On-The-Green.
On December 10, 2016, Sam Whittet, 24, of Knuston Spinney, flew into an uncontrollable rage in Brafield-On-The-Green Working Men’s Club.
In an unprovoked attack, he punched a 15-year-old boy, who had his back to Whittet at the time, before punching and kicking walls for the next five minutes.
He then got into a fight with his own brother - a fight that peacemaker Peter Roberts attempted to break up. But instead of calming down, Whittet launched a left hook at Peter, connecting with Peter’s head with such force that the punch could be heard some distance away.
Peter fell to the floor instantly with the punch causing him to suffer a fracture to the base of the skull and a bleed to the brain.
As a result, Whittet was jailed for two years and eight months after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm in connection with the assault.
However Peter never recovered, spending 18 months in a coma before passing away on July 31, 2018. As a result, Whittet was rearrested for manslaughter to which he pleaded guilty to on November 19, 2019.
Today he was jailed for two years and eight months.
Peter’s daughter Emma bravely took to the stand during sentencing to read her victim impact statement out to the court. Describing her dad as “her hero” and a “happy, jovial man” who “taught her never to give up”, Emma described the utter devastation she felt at seeing her Dad in a coma for 18 months and how his death has impacted on her.
“It is torturous”, she said. “My dad will never be able to walk me down the aisle, he will never be a grandad, I feel like I’ve lost my right arm. All he was doing that night was being a good Samaritan and trying to break up a fight.”
Peter and his wife, Brenda, were childhood sweethearts, and in court, she described him as “her soulmate and rock”.
Describing the loss she has suffered, she said: “My heart feels like it’s shattered into tiny pieces. I feel numb. I’m living in a nightmare and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. We had made so many plans for our retirement together but now I am dreading retirement.”
Detective Sergeant Gavin Suttie, said: “There is no sentence on this earth that can make up for the loss of Peter Roberts.
“He was a much-loved husband to Brenda and devoted father to Emma. Their anguish since this incident in 2016 simply cannot be put into words – every day is a struggle without Peter by their side.
“This has been an exceptionally long ordeal for them and I hope today’s sentencing brings them some element of closure, though their lives will of course, never be the same again.
“This has been a very complex investigation and I would like to thank my team for their diligence and professionalism throughout.
“I also hope this incident highlights just how extreme the consequences can be from a single punch and I hope Whittet continues to reflect on the devastation he has caused an entire family through completely mindless and avoidable actions.”
The family of Peter Roberts also expressed their thanks to the Crown Prosecution Service for their professional and dedicated work in ensuring this matter was dealt with diligently.