A youth who admitted the manslaughter of 17-year-old Daniel Crowther outside a pizza shop in Stokesley has been given a three-year sentence.
Thomas David Watson, aged 17, of Woodhouse Road, Guisborough, was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on 8 July 2011 after pleading guilty to the charge at a hearing last month.
Daniel, an only child and a student at Stokesley School, was enjoying a night out with friends in Stokesley, during the early hours of Saturday 14 May 2011, when the incident occurred. A single punch thrown in an unprovoked attack by Watson tragically ended his life.
Daniel was outside College Pizzas, in College Square, just after midnight, when a grey Volkswagen Polo pulled up alongside him. The occupant of the front passenger seat wound down the window and engaged him in conversation. As they spoke Watson, who was also a passenger in the car, got out of the rear of the vehicle and punched him once to the side of the head.
Daniel sustained serious injuries from the blow and was rushed to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesborough. Sadly, doctors were unable to save his life and he died at approximately 2.50am.
North Yorkshire Police circulated a description of the Volkswagen involved in the incident and it was stopped on the A171 at Guisborough by Cleveland Police. All four occupants of the vehicle were arrested and taken into police custody.
On 15 May 2011, Watson was charged with manslaughter. The other three occupants of the car were released on police bail and later told they would face no further action.
Detective Superintendent Lewis Raw, of North Yorkshire Police, who led the investigation, said: "I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere condolences to Daniel's parents for the terrible loss of their son.
"He was the victim of an unprovoked attack which sadly resulted in the tragic loss of his young life.
"No sentence could ever reflect the suffering that Daniel's family have had to endure as they try and come to terms with his death.
"At the very least, I hope that the outcome at court will provide a small measure of comfort and they begin to rebuild their lives."
Statement from the family of Daniel Crowther
"It is incomprehensible that the person responsible for Daniel's manslaughter will be free in a relatively short period of time, while we have to spend the rest of our lives trying to come to terms with Daniel's death.
"When Daniel was violently and tragically taken from us our lives were changed forever, we miss him greatly and find it unbelievable that he is no longer with us.
"We will never forget him and the pleasure he brought to us during his short but happy life.
"Daniel was loved by all of his family and friends and all the special times that we shared will ensure that his memory will live on in our hearts forever."
11.28am - 8 July 2011