Drug dealer Jake McFarlane jailed for 'senseless' one-punch killing of man outside Huntingdon pub

Jake McFarlane (left) and Ian Clitheroe (right).
Jake McFarlane (left) and Ian Clitheroe (right). Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

A drug dealer who admitted killing a stranger with a single punch outside a pub has been jailed.

Jake McFarlane, 22, was drinking with friends at the Samuel Pepys bar in Huntingdon in the early hours of 30 January when he thought he saw Ian Clitheroe, 50, arguing with a woman outside.

McFarlane then punched Mr Clitheroe at about 1.30am, causing him to fall to the ground.

He subsequently fled the scene before emergency services arrived.

Officers began CPR on Mr Clitheroe before paramedics got there and he was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

Despite the best efforts of doctors at the hospital, he died on February 3.

McFarlane was arrested at Huntingdon Train Station having just bought a single ticket to Norwich. 

Ian Clitheroe died at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Police found 20 small packets of cocaine worth £710 and a set of digital scales with white powder residue on them among his luggage.

McFarlane, of Bernard Close in Huntingdon, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and possession with intent to supply cocaine at a previous hearing and was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison at Peterborough Crown Court on Friday.

“Ian was a larger than life, generous, loving man with a heart of gold. It is difficult to put into words how his loss has affected all of those who knew and loved him," Mr Clitheroe’s family said in a statement.

“We are relieved that Jake McFarlane is now rightly behind bars and no longer a threat to society, although his sentence in no way compares to our life sentence.

“Our lives will never be the same again without Ian in it. The impact and tragic senseless manner of his death resonates with us every day.

“Ian will be remembered forever. Loved and missed always.”

Detective Inspector Dale Mepstead added: “This case shows the tragic consequences just one punch can have.

“It is clear McFarlane didn’t intend to kill Mr Clitheroe, but his actions did just that."