Man who killed friend with single punch in Hull guilty of manslaughter

Michael Pearson killed Scott Akester after a night out at the Grandale pub in the Sutton Park area of Hull. Credit: MEN Media

A man who killed his friend with a single punch to the face has been found guilty of manslaughter.Michael Pearson, 30, attacked Scott Akester, 31, after a night out at The Grandale pub, Sutton Park, on 19 November. He later claimed that he acted in self-defence and denied manslaughter, but was convicted after a trial at Hull Crown Court.The pair had argued earlier in the evening. As they walked home with friends, Pearson turned to Mr Akester and punched him in the face.

Witnesses said they heard a "loud crack" as Mr Akester fell backwards and hit his head on the ground. Paramedics performed CPR in an attempt to save Mr Akester's life, but he died in hospital the following day.

Pearson, of Saltshouse Road, east Hull, was initially accused of murder, but the charge was later reduced to manslaughter.

It was accepted that he did not intend to kill his friend, the court heard.

Pearson is due to be sentenced on Thursday 29 June.

The incident happened near The Grandale pub in November. Credit: MEN Media

The court heard he and Mr Akester had been friends for a number of years and shared a common interest in football.

In the weeks leading up to the incident, they had been working together without a problems. They were "on friendly terms" at the time.Following the attack, Pearson searched online for "manslaughter sentence" before handing himself in to police.

He tried to destroy his phone and other evidence.

Scott Akester was initially hospitalised, before his life support was turned off. Credit: MEN Media

Debra Akester, Mr Akester's mother, previously told the court how she saw her son in a cubicle in the intensive care unit, with her husband and Mr Akester's girlfriend there too.

Mr Akester was "very unwell" and they sat with him.Staff told them tests had shown no reaction from Mr Akester's brain.

She then spent "precious time with Scott" before his life support was turned off and he died.

Det Ch Insp Al Curtis, from Humberside Police, described Mr Akester's death as "utterly needless" and a result of Pearson’s "mindless" actions with "no regard for the consequences".

"A single punch has caused a devastating impact, resulting in a man losing his life and a family left without their loved one," he said."I would like to thank Scott’s family for their patience and courage during the judicial process. Nothing can bring Scott back, but I hope they feel a sense of justice has been achieved after today’s outcome.

"Crimes like this will not be tolerated and we will always take action in a bid to deter violent crime in our communities."

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