Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton pub punch death: Man jailed for manslaughter

Harry Joyce Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption Prosecutors said there was no apparent motive for Harry Joyce attacking Perry Cardy

A man has been jailed for six years for killing a man in a pub with a single punch.

Perry Cardy suffered a fractured skull and went into cardiac arrest after being knocked out by Harry Joyce at The Bittern in Southampton on 19 April.

Mr Cardy, 52, who lived in the same road as the pub, died in Southampton General Hospital two days later.

Joyce, 27, denied murder but admitted manslaughter at a plea hearing at Winchester Crown Court on Wednesday.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Perry Cardy died two days after the attack in the Bittern pub in Southampton

The court heard Mr Cardy had been talking to Joyce's father, Ray Joyce, in the smoking area of the pub when the defendant threw a punch which caused him to fall backwards down some steps and land on some concrete.

The punch was so powerful, Mr Cardy was unconscious before he hit the ground.

He suffered a blunt force head injury and fractured skull - as well as injuries to the face - and went into cardiac arrest.

Prosecutor Simon Jones said: "There was no provocation... No apparent reason or motive which caused the defendant to act as he did."

'One punch kills'

Joyce pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, which was accepted by the Crown.

In a victim impact statement Mr Cardy's sister, Amanda Hunter, said his family had been left "devastated and angry".

She said: "As a family we can only hope Harry will learn from this and that he will now know one punch kills."

After the sentencing she called it a "senseless, mindless incident that's actually killed somebody, and it had to be my brother".

She said it was a case of "wrong place, wrong time", and that Joyce's sentence should have been longer.

"He'll get to see his child but [Perry's] children won't get to see him, so that's quite poignant for us," she said.

His niece Laura Hunter said: "There is no way to really cope because it is quite surreal - you still feel like you're going to walk down the street and bump into him.

"I think because he was taken so soon it doesn't sink in that he has actually gone.

"Hopefully we may be able to move on but he'll never be forgotten."

Defence barrister Sarah Jones QC said the defendant was horrified by what happened and was remorseful.

She said: "He will be sorry for it forever."

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