Daryl Bunn death: Sonny Hazell jailed for one-punch killing

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image copyrightEssex Police
image captionDaryl Bunn's family and fiancee have been left devastated by his death, the court heard

A man who killed a bystander with a single punch in a "bewildering incident" on a High Street has been jailed for three years.

Daryl Bunn, 27, was struck in the immediate aftermath of a brief fight, which he had not taken part in, in Maldon, Essex, in June 2019.

Sonny Hazell punched Mr Bunn, who hit his head on the pavement and died in hospital, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

Hazell was convicted of manslaughter following a trial last year.

The jury had heard Mr Bunn, a roofer, had met with friends that afternoon and the group were walking home in daylight when they became involved in an altercation outside a branch of Iceland.

Shauna Ritchie, defending Hazell, described it as a "bewildering incident", which was "not set against a backdrop of drink and aggression".

Hazell, then 23, of Southminster, near Maldon, came to the defence of one of the two men involved, the court heard.

'Simply watching'

Judge Patricia Lynch, addressing Hazell, who is now 25, said: "It was your evidence that you saw Mr Bunn move his hands upwards and you thought you would be struck, therefore you threw a single punch.

"There is no evidence that Mr Bunn threatened or punched [one of the men]; he took no part in any violence and at all times he remained a bystander, simply watching the altercation unfold.

"The CCTV showed that the fight had ended and [the two men] had begun to move away from the scene when you punched Mr Bunn."

Mr Bunn suffered a brain injury and his life support was switched off after a six-hour operation at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Mr Bunn's fiancee, Hannah Shynn, took to the witness box after she requested to read out a victim impact statement by her and the Bunn family.

She said the family were heartbroken and described Mr Bunn as a "huge character whose smile could light up a room".

Mr Bunn was due to be best man at his best friend's wedding that summer. Instead, more than 350 people attended his funeral.

"Life will never be the same again," the statement added.

After sentencing Hazell, Judge Lynch described the case as "tragic for many, many reasons."

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