A teenager has been imprisoned for killing a stranger with a single punch after consuming drugs and alcohol excessively on a night out, but he could be released in 18 months.
Morgan Wainewright, then 19, struck Andrew Nicholas near the King’s Head Wetherspoon pub in Monmouth, Wales, and the 43-year-old died.
He pleaded guilty to manslaughter, with the victim described as a “amazing, wonderful, and loving son, brother, and uncle” by his family.
The attack occurred in the early morning hours of June 26.
Mr Nicholas, from Poole, was on a golfing trip with friends when he was arrested, according to Newport Crown Court.
Judge Daniel Williams said Wainewright had been drinking “a lot” and had taken cocaine and ketamine.
He described how the defendant got into a row with a group of men in the King’s Head and CCTV showed him “forehead to forehead” with one man.
The teenager was asked to leave the pub and outside there was “a fight and punches are thrown”, said the judge, reports Wales Online.
The doorman had said Wainewright was “very wound-up” and “looking for trouble”.
The court heard how he then crossed paths with Mr Nicholas, who had gone to get a kebab, with footage showing the two of them “up close and talking”.
The judge added: “It’s very apparent that Mr Nicholas is very unsteady through drink. You say you accidentally bumped into him.
“You involved yourself in a hostile confrontation. At many points in the evening this terrible outcome could have been avoided.
“CCTV shows that Mr Nicholas threw a blow at you… He stepped back and there was a pause.
“You then moved forward and punched Mr Nicholas and attempted to land a second blow. He was floored by the first punch and the back of his head struck the pavement.”
More than a dozen people gathered around the two men at the scene, with one witness saying Wainewright hit Mr Nicholas “hard in the face” before backing off.
They added: “He didn’t provide any first aid. He was enraged. He was flushed.”
Mr Nicholas was placed in the recovery position but was not breathing.
He was rushed to the University Hospital of Wales, where he died as a result of a blunt trauma to the back of the head.
Wainewright walked to a skate park where a witness spoke to him and said he was “stressed and concerned”.
He returned to the scene an hour later and was arrested.
Wainewright had become frustrated earlier in the night after having to make up a shortfall in his group’s restaurant bill, according to the court.
The now-20-year-old said he had been drinking since 4 p.m. and claimed he was acting in self-defense at first, but later admitted to the unlawful killing.
The court heard a victim impact statement from Mr Nicholas’ mother, who said: “He was just going for something to eat and he will never be home. I am heartbroken and completely stunned. How is this possible?
“He lived with me after I lost my husband three years ago. He did so much to help me and I don’t know how I can cope and go forward without him.
“He was the most loving and caring son a mother could have. He was loved and respected by so many.
“A multitude described him as a perfect gentleman. The rest of my life is a life sentence of pain that will never go away. His brother is broken, devastated at losing his much-loved brother.”
Mr Nicholas’ family described him as the “best uncle in the world” to his three young nieces, who have been “affected in a way that is irreparable, unacceptable and a pain they will carry for the rest of their lives.”
Sarah Frances Jones KC, representing Wainewright, said the death was “wholly unnecessary and tragic” and Mr Nicholas’ family should not be having to hear about it so close to Christmas.
“There is no part of my mitigation that seeks to add to their sorrow, nor to blame him in isolation for what happened,” she added.