A man who killed a devoted father with one punch during a night out with his family in Stapleford has been jailed for two years and nine months.
Jack Shepherd, 21, of Stapleford, had previously pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 45-year-old Stephen Coverley and was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court today (Friday 24 August 2018).
The court heard that Shepherd assaulted Mr Coverley outside Larry’s Bar in Derby Road, Stapleford, during the early hours of 1 January 2016. He was punched once in the face which caused him to fall to the floor causing a serious head injury.
Shepherd had already served a sentence for the assault aspect of the incident at the time, resulting in a 28-month prison sentence. He was sentenced today to five years – with the reduction of the previous sentence and credit for his guilty plea giving him a prison sentence of two years and nine months.
Following the assault Mr Coverley was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital.
He suffered a blood clot overlying his brain as a result of the assault.
He spent a long time in hospital where he later died as result of aspiration pneumonia.
Following a post-mortem examination it was concluded that Mr Coverley had been at increased risk of developing such pneumonia as a result of his severe brain injury and that he would not have died of this were it not for the incident on 1 January 2016.
The court heard that Mr Coverley had gone out on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the festivities in Stapleford.
After midnight there was an incident in Larry’s Bar which resulted in Shepherd being escorted out by security staff.
A dispute then took place outside the bar resulting in Shepherd punching Mr Coverley to the face.
Speaking after Shepherd’s sentencing Detective Constable Sharon Lowth said: “Stephen Coverley was a devoted family man whose wife, daughter and two sons have been left heartbroken by the actions of Jack Shepherd.
“His death is a stark illustration of just how much damage and devastation one single punch can cause.
“I hope it highlights to people that getting involved in any kind of violent behaviour can have tragic consequences.
“A family has lost a loved one and Shepherd is now spending time behind bars all because of one punch.”
A statement from Mr Coverley’s family said: “Stephen was a wonderful and loving husband and father. “With one punch Jack Shepherd has completely devastated and destroyed an entire family.
“Although the sentence today will not bring Stephen back we are satisfied this is a just sentence.”