Lewis Gill Killed Andrew Young On A Bournemouth Street: But It Wasn’t Murder
LEWIS Gill, 20, punched Andrew Young, 40, hard enough for the older man to fall down on a street in Bournemouth. Mr Young hit his head on the pavement. He never recovered, dying in hospital.
We know what went before the attack. Just before 4:25pm Mr Young was upset that Gill’s friend Victor Ibitoye had been riding his pushbike on the pavement. He told the cyclists it was a “dangerous activity”. As Ibitoye rode away, Gill, approaching form the Mr Young’s side, swung his fist. Mr Young goes down hard. Gill swaggers off. A youngish looking women with the pair, barely registers the horror, twiddling her hair as she walks on. But Ibitoye stops. Looks back. And gets off his bike. He appears concerned for Mr Young.
At Salisbury Crown Court, Gill admitted one charge of manslaughter. The judge sentenced him to four-and-a-half years.
As well as being a violent nutcase, Gill is conniving to the point of parody.
Prosecutor Kerry Maylin said: “The defendant claims he was worried about Andrew Young because he thought he was being menacing. He said Andrew Young put his hand to his pocket and he thought he was going to pull out a knife or a gun.”
If only he had.
Gill aded that Mr Young had made a racist comment. No proof of that. No-one else heard anything of the sort.
Gill was attempting to argue provocation. The 1976 case, Regina v Whitfield, provocation was summarised as:
“Some act or series of acts done by the dead man to the accused which would cause in any reasonable person and actually causes in the accused, a sudden and temporary loss of control, rendering the accused so subject to passion as to make him for the moment not the master of his mind.”
Did Gill get off lightly? It would seem that he did.
These are the Government’s sentencing guidelines:
At the time of the killing, Gill was on a suspended sentence for robbery and for handling stolen goods.
The judge told Gill, from Croydon:
“You are a powerfully built young man. You must have known that [the punch] was going to cause a significant injury and, very sadly, it did.”
Mr Young’s mother is devastated, making her victim-impact statement though the media:
“I sat with him when he died. I wish that awful man who took my son away had pleaded not guilty so he would have got a longer sentence. The sentence is an absolute joke. I’m a committed Christian but I think that if someone takes a life they should be prepared to forfeit their own.”
What else do we know?
The Daily Express tells readers:
Mr Young was able to speak several language but had the social skills of a 14-year-old because he suffered from Aspergers Syndrome.
Mrs Young said: “He was very particular because of his Asperger’s and he wouldn’t have liked seeing someone riding a bicycle on the pavement because it was dangerous.”
She said her son often attended Sunday mass at the St Edmund Champion Church and was a member of the naval section of the Combined Cadet Force.
The Bournemouth Echo keeps it simple:
One punch enough to kill
Tragically, the 40-year-old is the fourth man to die in 13 years in Bournemouth from one punch.
A spokesperson from initiative One Punch Can Kill said: “We want this campaign to make people think twice about their actions. Remember, if you avoid trouble, control your anger and walk away, you could not only save your life but someone else’s as well.”
Others don’t care much for Gill’s life.
Tory MP David Davies said of Gill’s punishment:
“That’s an outrageously lean sentence. In two years he will be out walking the streets after taking somebody’s life. He has attacked someone unprovoked and should be properly punished. People need to realise if you punch someone like that, and they fall backward, they can die.”
Judge Cutler added:
“What I have had to look at is what was in your mind at the time you threw that punch. You wanted to cause some injury to Mr Young. If you wanted to cause grievous bodily harm it would have been a murder charge. You are very, very lucky that was not in fact the outcome. I bear in mind your early guilty plea. I accept there is no pre-meditated element and provocation does exist.”
The Mirror adds:
He admitted manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of life behind bars but allows for “partial defences” such as loss of control or diminished responsibility. Judges are guided by terms previously handed down in similar cases.
To help understand the full horror of this, the unprovoked crime was captured on CCTV: