Connecting the people of Yorkshire

5 years for Bret Thorpe after pub manslaughter case in Selby pub

Bret Thorpe has been jailed for five years after the assault on Robert Walker 54 in a public house in Selby and  eventually caused the death of the man a year later after months in hospital. 

Thorp 27 has already served 20 months in custody, the case at Leeds Crown Court was dating back to the original assault which took place on April 1st 2014 at the pub in Finkle Street Selby.

Thorp of Scarborough and previously Castleford admitted grievously bodd harm after changing his plea to guilty in December 2016. 

A single punch to the face resulted in the 54 year falling to the ground unconscious. Mr Thorp had been asked to leave the pub in Selby after an argument started between men regarding money. After the assault Thorp tried to return to the public house to begin fighting again. 

Robert Walker who suffered the assault was taken to York Hospital and then transferred to Hull whereby he under went surgery having a craniotomy to ease bleeding on his brain. He then spent five weeks in Hull hospital.

After slight recovery he remained in hospital for over three and a half months, later suffering seizures. He was later transferred to a care home in Castle ford and had to be fed by a tube. 

In March 2015 he was submitted to Pinderfields hospital suffering from Pneumonia where he died. 

Mr Walker’s daughter Samantha described in a victim impact statement the trauma of visiting him in hospital over those months and the effect on his family. “Those 12 months were some of the hardest of my life.”

She said her father was a “fun loving dad and grandad” and it saddened her the last memories of him were months in a hospital bed.

He would never see his first grandson born since his death. “Over absolutely nothing my dad has died.”

His daughter Carla Walker said: “I always imagine what my life would be like if my dad were still here.”

Mr Walker’s brother John said: “My parents should not have had to bury their son.”

In a much wider debate the actions of one drunken man must be used as a warning in regards to alcohol fueled violence. One punch is all it takes to seriously injure another person and end a life. Causing misery for the families of both the injured and the attacker themselbes. 

“He concedes it was a seriously hard blow, a disgraceful piece of unprovoked violence” but he said since being released from the sentence he had already served he had been in no further trouble.

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC told Thorp Mr Walker had died “one year and two weeks after he was assaulted by you in a public house in Selby.”

“This was not your argument but you involved yourself winding people up and you were the first to use violence.”

Initially that was against Mr Walker’s friend but then he punched Mr Walker and continued to cause trouble.

The judge  reduced the sentence have stating that Thorpe had already served 20 months and his guilty plea quoting “but this is a long, long way from a one punch manslaughter case.”




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