Monmouth pub reveller detained for killing golfer he punched on night out
A pub reveller has been detained for four years for killing a golfer who died after being attacked during a night out.
Morgan Wainewright, now aged 20, punched 43-year-old Andrew Nicholas during an altercation outside a pub in Monmouth in Wales.
Mr Nicholas, from Poole, Dorset, who was visiting the Gwent town on a golfing trip, suffered fatal injuries when his head struck the pavement.
He was taken to hospital where he died four days later after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Newport Crown Court heard Wainewright had been drinking during a night out in the town and had also taken ketamine and cocaine prior to the incident.
The fatal attack occurred a short time after the defendant had been asked to leave a pub having got into a dispute with a group of men inside.
CCTV footage from Monnow Street recorded an altercation between several men in the road, and Mr Nicholas is seen aiming a punch at Wainewright.
A few seconds later, Wainewright punches Mr Nicholas and as he falls to the ground, he throws a second punch at him.
Jim Davis, prosecuting, said: “It was a blow that caused Mr Nicholas to fall to the ground and lose consciousness, which he never regained.
“The pathologist concluded the cause of death was blunt head injury.
“The incident was recorded on the council’s CCTV system and the footage shows the nature and extent of the defendant’s attack on Mr Nicholas.
“The defendant made no effort to assist the victim and left the scene before the police attended.”
Morgan Wainewright later returned to the scene and handed himself into police, the court was told.
Wainewright, of Mid Summer Way, Monmouth, told police he had acted out of self-defence but later admitted manslaughter.
Sarah Jones KC, defending, said Mr Nicholas should never have died and apologised on behalf of his client to his family.
“Mr Nicholas’s family should not have to be here a few days before Christmas having to hear about the wholly unnecessary and tragic manner of his death,” she said.
“It would be perfectly apparent on watching the footage there were many moments during what happened that night that it could have been diverted, stopped or changed by any number of people there.
“This defendant bears the greatest responsibility for that.
“Mr Wainewright wishes to apologise but he is unhappily aware that such an apology is wholly inadequate.”
Judge Daniel Williams said only immediate custody was justifiable and imposed a four-year sentence at a young offenders’ institution.
“The doorman described that when you left the pub you were wound up,” the judge said.
“That fight that happened outside the pub happened minutes before you fatally injured Andrew Nicholas.
“You say to the author of the pre-sentence report that you accidentally bumped into him that night.
“The fact is that again that night, no doubt through what you had taken and drunk, involved yourself in a hostile confrontation.
“As Miss Jones said, at so many points during this evening this terrible outcome could have been avoided.”
Judge Williams said he was sure Wainewright either “intended some harm or (was) at the very least reckless” when he punched Mr Nicholas.
“The offending is aggravated by you having committed the offence while under the influence of drink and drugs,” he said.
“The court must reflect the fact in order to do justice in this case that this was reactive violence on your part.
“Nothing that this court can do can undo the wrong you have done or reconcile those who loved Andrew Nicholas so much to their loss.”
Mr Nicholas’s family said in a statement: “The events of June 26 that led to Andrew’s death by the actions of another will be a pain that won’t ever heal.
“The trauma and destruction it has caused to so many of us, both family and friends, won’t ever be forgotten.
“We are pleased the individual responsible has been brought to justice and sentenced for his crime. His actions have caused damage beyond words and no sentence will ever be long enough.”
Detective Superintendent Nick Wilkie, the senior investigation officer, said: “The circumstances of Mr Nicholas’s death should act as a warning to others as to how a senseless act of violence can have devastating consequences.”
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