Lancashire

'One punch' teen killer, 16, detained for Blackpool attack

Connor Stewart Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption Stewart, of Devonshire Road, Morecambe adopted a boxing stance before punching Mr Rhodes in the face, said police

A teenage boy who admitted killing a man with a "single punch" has been detained.

Michael Rhodes, 47, died in hospital almost a month after the attack in Exchange Street, Blackpool in May.

Connor Stewart, 16, claimed he acted in self-defence but phone footage showed Mr Rhodes was "defenceless and backing away", Preston Crown Court heard.

He admitted manslaughter and was ordered to spend three years in a young offenders' institution.

'Devastasting consequences'

Judge Mark Brown lifted reporting restrictions which prevented naming Stewart due to his age.

Police said Stewart, of Devonshire Road, Morecambe adopted a boxing stance before punching Mr Rhodes in the face on 20 May.

He fell backwards down a small step outside a Costcutter store, hitting his head on some concrete, said police.

He was taken hospital but died on 11 June, having never regained consciousness.

Det Ch Insp Jon Holmes of Lancashire Police said: "Mr Rhodes posed no threat and meant no harm to anybody and, on that day,... was simply going about his own business when he was unlucky enough to cross paths with Connor Stewart.

"Sadly, Mr Rhodes' life is not the only one ruined: those closest to him must now deal with the loss of a beloved family member and friend, while Stewart, aged just 16, has a conviction for manslaughter and must spend the rest of his life with another man's death on his conscience.

"This is an utterly tragic case which was totally avoidable and shows the devastating consequences that just one punch can have."

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