Reaction to one punch sentence

Ravi Sandhu
Ravi Sandhu, who was found guilty of manslaughter. Photo: ITV Anglia

Ravi Sandhu, aged 24, of Kathie Road, Bedford, has been found guilty by a jury at Luton Crown Court of the manslaughter of Kevin Harrison.

Sandhu punched Mr Harrison, from Raunds, in September last year in an unprovoked attack in Bedford town centre after a night out. The injuries caused as Mr Harrison’s head hit the pavement were fatal.

Sandhu was sentenced to five years in prison for the offence.

Mr Harrison leaves behind his wife Trish; children Jack, 18, and Becky, 21, step-children Megan, 18 and Michael 21;father and mother Josie and Jeff Harrison; sister Sandra and husband Steve and family; father-in-law and mother-in-law David and June; sisters-in-law Gemma and Dawn and families; and loyal and long-standing friends Mark and Sharon.

“I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of myself and my family to say a massive thank you to all the people who have supported us through this awful time since my husband died.

"Kevin was my best friend, he meant the world to me and still lives on in my memory. He was the most caring person I have ever known. He was hard working and he loved his family dearly. We are totally lost without him.

"Kevin was a wonderful Son, Husband, Dad, Brother, Uncle, Step Dad and Friend too many, which was shown to us when over 350 people came to his funeral.

"We would like to say a special thank you to Addenbrooke's Hospital and their staff who cared for Kevin. They were so amazing and never gave up on him. They are such dedicated people. They made a totally unbearable time just that little bit more bearable, they were so caring. I hope that the fundraising we have been able to do for them will go towards helping others.

"Too much of this one punch crime is happening and needs to stop. People need to be made aware that a fist can be just as dangerous to a person then a gun or knife. If a person is shot dead or knifed that is murder. Just remember a fist can be just as deadly and should be treated in the same.way.

"One totally mindless action has totally destroyed our lives and has taken an absolutely remarkable person from us. Our lives will never be the same. I beg you all to just think before you throw that punch and remember the total devastation it causes.”

– Patricia Harrison, Kevin's widow

"I’m glad that we have been able to achieve a successful prosecution in this case and hope that it helps to form part of the recovery process for Kevin’s family. Kevin’s wife and whole family have been tremendously strong throughout this process and I know they are determined that Kevin’s death should not be in vain.

"Kevin was a much loved family man who had been out for the evening with his friends and his son. He was just trying to get home when he was subject to an unprovoked attack by Ravi Sandhu. Sandhu’s single punch meant Kevin could never go home again.

"Sandhu didn’t mean to kill Kevin – but he did not give a second thought to the consequences of hitting Kevin full in the face. Whether he meant to kill him or not, the result was the same. The Harrison family have suffered, and continue to suffer, in the worst way possible.

"Unfortunately, police have to deal with this type of scenario all too often. Bravado or verbal arguments can lead to a situation which no-one intended, or imagined, could happen. There are a number of families in this county who have had the experience of a police officer knocking on their door to say that an argument has resulted in the death of their father, or their son, or their husband.

"I would like to take this opportunity to remind anyone, in a situation where tempers are raised, to please walk away and think – rather than finding themselves behind bars.”

– Det Sgt Graham McMillan, Beds and Herts Major Crime Unit

“We have worked closely with the police since this investigation was launched. This was a tragic crime, which lead to the untimely death of Kevin Harrison.

“The jury has returned a guilty verdict of manslaughter. The conviction means that the jury was in no doubt that Sandhu caused the death of Mr Harrison, despite his denials.

“As a result of the hard work and diligence by the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved for the victim and his family and friends. We hope that the conviction and sentence will in some way help them in their struggle to come to terms with this tragic event. Our thoughts are very much with them at this time.”

– Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service