Beds, Herts & Bucks

John Stanley death: Stone throw killer jailed

Ricky Ward Image copyright Bedfordshire Police
Image caption Ricky Ward hurled a rock at John Stanley during a fight

A man who hurled a rock at his victim causing fatal brain damage has been jailed.

Ricky Ward, 40, of Langford Drive, Luton, confronted John Stanley who had appeared in his driveway and started acting aggressively.

Mr Stanley, of Handcross Road, Luton, suffered serious head injuries in the fight, including a cracked skull, and died in hospital.

Ward was convicted of manslaughter in October and was jailed for three years.

Luton Crown Court heard Mr Stanley threw a 2.5kg (5lb 8oz) rock at Ward, which Ward then hurled back at him, during the fight in Mangrove Road in Luton on 24 April,

It is thought there was tension between the two men after Mr Stanley allegedly made a derogatory comment about Ward's partner, the court heard.

The court heard that Ward had seven previous convictions for 17 offences.

Image copyright Bedfordshire Police
Image caption John Stanley suffered serious head injuries

Prosecutor Michael Roques said: "It amounted to him (Ward) acting in retaliation and not self-defence. We understand it is an unusual set of circumstances. At some stages independent witnesses describe Stanley as the aggressor."

Mr Stanley's widow Lorraine said in a victim impact statement that her heart had been "ripped out".

She also praised her husband as a "caring and loving husband".

Mr Martin Hicks QC, representing Ward, said his client's action was "a momentary lapse" and that he "was reckless in the heat of the moment".

Judge Lynn Tayton QC said she accepted Ward was genuinely remorseful, but only immediate custody could be justified.

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