A man who killed a businessman with a one blow punch has been sent to a young offender’s institution for five and a half years.
Victim Jonathon Plum died from catastrophic head injuries after striking his head on the pavement when he fell after being hit by Peter Honeyman.
Dad-to-be Peter Honeyman, 20, of Heyhouses Lane, St Annes, will miss the birth of his child as a result of the jail term.
He had denied his manslaughter, telling jurors he had felt threatened after seeing Mr Plum, who was drunk, armed with a jagged broken glass on Wood Street, St Annes.
However the jury of eight men and four women took less than two hours to convict him at Preston Crown Court.
Honeyman, wearing a Nike hoodie, appeared emotionless as the Honorary Recorder of Preston, Mark Brown, said: “The event was captured on CCTV film and this shows you running up to Mr Plum from behind and delivering a hard punch which caused him to fall to the floor immediately. As a result the back of his head struck the pavement and he suffered serious internal head injuries from which he died.
“There is no doubt Mr Plum had behaved in a drunken and obnoxious way. He had been marching up the street with a broken glass looking for another man, however by the time of the fatal incident the glass had been discarded and I’m satisfied he posed no threat to you or your group. I’m also satisfied you knew he no longer had the glass because someone in your group shouted he no longer had the glass.”
Members of Mr Plum’s family sobbed as he added: “When he was walking away you took the opportunity to hit him from behind – he was literally felled like a tree.
“It is accepted you didn’t intend the fatal consequences but it was immediately obvious to all present that Mr Plum was very seriously hurt. There had been a very loud crack when his head struck the pavement.
“Despite that you didn’t remain at the scene.
“Although I accept there was an element of provocation, that provocation was not really directed towards you and in any event the offence is aggravated by the fact it occurred on a busy street in St Annes in front of many bystanders and the fact you left the scene with total disregard for his welfare.”
“The death of Jon Plum has had a devastating impact on his wife and family.”
The court previously heard Mr Plum had been wining and dining with his wife and friend in St Annes on July 23, but had become “loud and rude” while in Jack’s Bistro and had called a woman on another table a “brass” - a prostitute.
CCTV showed an argument between him and guests on the other table, who later moved onto to another pub.
Mr Plum went out into the street to follow them and was described as “enraged and stripped to the waist”.
Honeyman and his friends were standing outside the Shilaylee bar while he paced up and down with a broken glass in his hand, with CCTV showing his wife trying to calm him down.
The footage shows Mr Plum turned away from Honeyman’s group and walk away but moments later Honeyman ran up to him, hitting his head and knocking him over, before running from the scene.
The dad-of-four, who lived with his wife and family in a £450,000 seafront home on Sandgate, St Annes, died in the Royal Preston Hospital 32 hours later.
The court heard Honeyman, who married last summer, hailed from Stockton-on-Tees in County Durham.
Defending Steve Nikolich said: “He’s clearly distressed by the whole procedure.
“He lives with the death he caused each day and wakes up thinking about it and is going to have to carry what he did for the rest of his life.”
Det Chf Insp Richard McCutcheon, of the Force Major Investigation Team, said: “This is a tragic case which left Mr Plum with fatal injuries after he was punched once from behind by Peter Honeyman, causing him to fall and strike his head on the pavement.
“It demonstrates the devastating consequences that a single punch can have and my thoughts very much remain with Jonathon’s family and friends at this time.”