Six years for teenage boy whose single punch took another's life

A youth who became angry after seeing his former girlfriend with a Leamington teenager, has been jailed for six years after killing him with a single punch.

Kieron Lee Scott, 18, of Handley Close, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, was found guilty of manslaughter by a Birming- ham Crown Court jury following the death of Jacob Collett, 17, of Lillington Avenue.

Scott had pleaded not guilty after claiming he acted in self-defence.

Peter Haynes QC, prosecuting, told the jury: "You might say Mr Collett was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but this was a tragic case."

Mr Haynes said that Scott and Miss Stacey Moore had been in a relationship for two years but, two or three weeks before the incident, Miss Moore told him she did not wish to go out with him any longer.

Scott wanted to get back together with her and went to Murphy's bar in Leamington town centre on the night of May 19, knowing that she would be there, said Mr Haynes.

"Miss Moore turned up with about seven girlfriends and sat some distance from Scott, who was also with friends.

"After his friends left, Scott stayed on and started making a nuisance of himself. He called her names and became angry and jealous when she started talking to Jacob Collett, whom she knew."

Mr Haynes said that Scott claimed Miss Moore started 'winding him up' and at one stage he followed Jacob Collett into the toilets in a threatening manner. Scott is alleged to have told Mr Collett: "Don't talk to my girl."

The landlord of the pub intervened, however, and Scott was eventually ejected.

The jury was later shown CCTV footage of Scott waiting outside the bar. Eventually, Miss Moore, Mr Collett and the girls left, with Mr Collett walking home alone whilst the others got into a taxi, said Mr Haynes.

"Scott is said to have caught up with Mr Collett to tell him to "stay away from my missus." A couple who were nearby say they heard shouting and saw a shoulder movement by Scott.

"As a result of a single punch by Scott, Mr Collett fell to the ground, hit his head upon the pavement, and was unconscious. Scott is alleged to have told the couple that Mr Collett had been 'messing around' with his girlfriend."

Mr Haynes said Mr Collett never regained consciousness. The couple contacted his mother on a mobile 'phone to tell her that her son was being taken to Warwick Hospital after they had alerted the emergency services. Meanwhile, Scott had walked off. Two hours later, he caught up with Miss Moore on his bicycle and told her: "I've just slapped your little mate."

Mr Haynes said that Scott was later arrested and could not believe that Mr Collett - a former Myton School pupil - was dead.

"I only hit him once," Scott is alleged to have said.

Mr Haynes said that Mr Collett was dead upon arrival at Warwick Hospital. He died from a damaged artery near the brain.

After finding Scott guilty of manslaughter, the jury was told that he had two previous convictions for assault.

Judge Alister McCreath told Scott: "You became angry and jealous when your former girlfriend apparently struck up a new relationship with Jacob Collett, and threatened to knock him out. It was not the first time you had been violent; unfortunately, this resulted in your taking a young life.

"You have caused an enormous amount of suffering to those close to Jacob Collett - particularly to his mother and father. Yet I do not detect a sign of remorse."

Judge McCreath said that the public had to be protected, and sentenced him to six years in prison. However, he said that he could be considered for release after three years if the authorities believed that he was no longer a threat to the public.

A total of 166 days Scott had spent in custody pending the trial would be deducted from the sentence, said Judge McCreath.

As Judge McCreath announced the sentence, Scott's mother ran from the court in tears.

Deputy Chief Insp Adrian Pearson led the inquiry into the death of Jacob Collett.

He said: "This was a tragedy in every respect. Jacob was a happy and lively 17-year-old who came from a loving family background.

"He was enjoying a night out and did nothing to provoke the attack on him.

"Jacob was warned by Mr Scott to keep away from his ex-girlfriend and he did just that, but was attacked shortly after leaving Murphy's bar."

Det Chief Insp Pearson added that alcohol was a major factor in the incident.

He said: "The tragedy demonstrates all too clearly the dangers of drinking to excess and the influence of alcohol in fuelling acts of violence."