Pub doorman who killed customer with single punch jailed for two years
A bouncer who killed a customer with a single punch following an argument outside a pub has been jailed for just two years.
Neil Hotchkiss, 37, left dad-of-three Scott Taylor lying unconscious on the pavement after he knocked him out cold with one fatal blow.
The painter and decorator had been enjoying a drink at the Bar Station in Wellington, Shrops., when the doorman asked him to leave on August 17, 2012.
After an exchange of words outside Hotchkiss punched Mr Taylor, who was rushed to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire in a critical condition.
The grandad-of-one suffered a skull fracture and extensive brain damage from the fall and was left wheelchair-bound and with a severely dented head.
But he died on April 30, 2016, aged 44.
The cause of death was given as aspiration pneumonia and the head injury he sustained four years previously.
A court heard Mr Taylor suffered a stroke, had epilepsy, was paralysed and relied on carers round the clock up until his death.
Hotchkiss, from Telford, was originally jailed for 16 months after he admitted causing grievous bodily harm in March 2014.
On Wednesday, he was handed a further two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Sentencing, Judge Paul Glenn said: ‘This is a tragic case. The illness sustained by Mr Taylor was both life-changing and devastating and was so serious that he could not live independently.
‘All that was a result of your actions.’
Robert Price, prosecuting, said on the night Mr Taylor was inside the bar and the defendant had been supervising the front door.
Mr Price added: ‘Mr Taylor walked towards the front door with a pint which he wanted to take outside to drink. Mr Hotchkiss told him he wasn’t allowed.
‘As he went back inside, Mr Taylor started to swear. At that point Hotchkiss and a colleague decided to eject him.
‘They told him he had a bad attitude and that he should go to another pub or go home.
‘Mr Taylor may have been upset but was not being aggressive.
‘There comes a stage when Mr Taylor goes towards Hotchkiss. If contact was made it was only light.
‘The defendant reacts by punching Mr Taylor. He falls backwards heavily and his head contacts heavily with the ground.
‘Mr Taylor suffered grave and life-changing injuries and died from complications because of those injuries.’
Martin Lidyard, defending, said the defendant accepted that he was likely to return to jail.
He added: ‘We would like to make it quite clear to the court and to perhaps to Mr Taylor’s family that there was never any intention not to accept responsibility.’
Speaking at the time Hotchkiss was originally jailed, Mr Taylor’s daughter Kirsty, 19, branded the 16 month sentence an ‘utter disgrace’.
She said: ‘It’s just ridiculous. There’s shoplifters that get longer than that. My dad’s life is ruined, he can’t get up, he can’t get out of bed himself, he can’t even sit up himself.
‘I remember it like it was yesterday. The police knocked on the door at 4am and rushed me to hospital. He was in intensive carer and they didn’t think he was going to survive.
‘He had blood clots and hemorrhages and was on life support for quite a long time.
‘And since it happened he has been in hospital more than he has been out. He also had a stroke but they don’t know if that is linked or not.
‘I’m just so angry that it’s such a short sentence. He will serve half of it so will be out in eight months and can carry on with everything as normal.
‘He was using the sob story in court that he has got eight kids.
‘Dad just says the same as me that it is ridiculous and he is angry too – it is an utter disgrace.