Man jailed for punching a man to death over £25 debt
A man has been jailed after punching a man to death over a £25 debt.
Mitchell Thorpe, 28, pleaded guilty to manslaughter after striking Craig Parker in the face with a single punch last year.
The assault happened in Stockwood Road, in Bristol, shortly before 11pm on Wednesday 25 March.
CCTV pictures showed an Audi drive up near to Mr Parker, who was on a bike.
Thorpe was seen to exit the passenger side of the car and strike the victim before leaving the scene in the same vehicle.
Mr Parker, 45, was taken to hospital but died of his injuries.
Investigators discovered text messages between the pair over the unpaid debt and they also spoke to witnesses who had heard Thorpe make threats over the money he was owed.
Thorpe was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of manslaughter at a hearing last month.
His partner, Sophie George, who lived with Thorpe, admitted one charge of perverting the course of justice at the same hearing.
She lied to police and claimed Thorpe was at home the night Mr Parker was attacked.
The 24-year-old received a nine-month suspended sentence and was ordered to carry out 70 hours of unpaid work.
In a statement provided to the court, Mr Parker’s family said Thorpe "destroyed all our lives that night’.
They said the night "changed their lives forever" adding: "Mitchell Thorpe took someone precious away from his family and friends.
"To say we are heartbroken is an understatement. Craig was ours, he was a son, a brother, an uncle, a father and a friend and Thorpe took him away from his family, where he belongs.
"He will never see his children grow up into adults, get married and have children of their own."
Senior Investigating Officer DI Roger Doxsey said: “Craig Parker still had so much of his life ahead of him, and his family have been caused such unnecessary pain and suffering.
"Our thoughts and sympathies go out to them and we continue to offer them support at this difficult time.
He added: “This has been a lengthy investigation but we welcome the prison sentence handed to Mitchell Thorpe today and the knowledge he cannot cause further harm to people’s lives.”