Sowerby man jailed after punch which killed new father
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Two men have today (21 October 2022) been sentenced for their roles in a serious assault which claimed the life of 32 year-old Alan Barefoot from South Kilvington near Thirsk.
22 year-old Benjamin Calvert of Kings Gardens, Sowerby near Thirsk was sentenced to five years and four months in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter and 25 year-old Thomas Cressey of Church Lane, Boroughbridge received a six month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to affray.
Around 9.45pm on Saturday 16 October 2021, Alan Barefoot was socialising in the Royal Pub on Thirsk Market Place, enjoying his first night out since the recent birth of his daughter. He was asked to leave the pub and an altercation followed which spilled out onto the street.
During the altercation, Cressey headbutted Alan Barefoot knocking him to the floor and then quickly walked away. Alan got back to his feet, but he was described by witnesses as looking ‘dazed’. Calvert was then seen to walk up to Alan and punched him hard on the side of his head, knocking him back to the floor and causing him to bang his head on the pavement, rendering him unconscious.
Witnesses rushed to Alan’s aid, putting him in the recovery position and calling the emergency services. He was transported to hospital with serious head injuries but never regained consciousness and very sadly died on Sunday 24 October 2021.
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Steve Menzies is from the North Yorkshire Police Major Investigation Team. He said:
“This is an incredibly sad case where a young man has lost his life as a result of a minor argument fuelled by alcohol, and where people needlessly got themselves involved, escalating the situation.
“Both Cressey and Calvert could have just walked away from the situation, but instead they chose to get involved in the altercation. In interview, Calvert claimed he was so intoxicated he did not remember assaulting Alan Barefoot, but he was seen on CCTV fleeing the scene and the area immediately after the attack. He was arrested hours later, after he had disposed of the clothes he’d been wearing when he attacked Alan.
“The investigation into this incident has been a complex one and we would like to thank everyone who came forward to provide information which has undoubtedly helped us to bring both offenders to justice.
“Our thoughts are with all of Alan’s family who will be grieving his loss for the rest of their lives. Alan had recently become a father and his daughter has just celebrated her first birthday. It is sad that he will never see his daughter grow and flourish. I have to commend his partner Charlotte who has been both courageous and dignified throughout the police investigation”.
Coming to terms with her incredible loss, Alan’s partner Charlotte who called him by his nickname Bezzy, said:
“It has been extremely hard dealing with the whole experience. All of our daughter’s firsts will be missed by Bezzy, her first birthday was definitely the hardest and this will be the same for Bezzy’s other children.
"The future is going to be very different for us both and we will have to learn how to cope with our new future.
"I would just like to say a massive thank you to the investigation team, victim support and the family liaison officers for all their hard work and support over the last year.”
Thomas Cressey received a six month sentence suspended for two years and a night time curfew.