The mother of 24-year-old Bradley Matcham, who was killed in a one-punch manslaughter earlier this year, took to the stand on 9 September. Her killer was sentenced to four years in prison.
19-year-old Arthur Billings from Harpole pleaded guilty to punching Bradley next to an alleyway in The Drapery, Northampton. The attack happened in the early hours of Saturday 9 February, following a heated exchange of words.
In the moment he was punched, Bradley’s hands were in his pockets and his head was turned away, giving him no opportunity to defend himself. In no point did he threaten Billings in any way.
Bradley, who had never met Billings before, fell to the floor unconscious and was taken to hospital where he died nine days later. Today, Billings was sentenced to four years in prison for manslaughter.
Bradley's mother, Mrs Matcham, read a statement to the court which revealed the impact her son's death has had on his loved ones.
“We are not designed to bury our children and we are not prepared for how to deal with it. In those nine days after he was punched, I watched my son fade away...all I have left are visits to the cemetery.”
Mrs Matcham's full statement:
“Anyone that had the good fortune of meeting Bradley described him as kind-hearted, dependable, intuitive and inspiring.
"He was 24-years-old, he’d just got a promotion at work, he had his own home and supported himself entirely. He had so much to live for.
“When a mother gives birth she has an instinctive need to protect her child and that doesn’t change as they get older.
“We are not designed to bury our children and we are not prepared for how to deal with it. In those nine days after he was punched, I watched my son fade away. My heart was ripped out when he died and it is a pain that will haunt me for the rest of my life. All I have left are visits to the cemetery.”
Addressing Billings directly, she said:
“When you wake up tomorrow morning to a new day, I would like you to reflect on one thing – all of Bradley’s tomorrows have ended.”