Scarborough man jailed for headbutt manslaughter of Peter Houghton from Hull
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A Scarborough man has been jailed for four years and six months for the manslaughter of 59-year-old Peter Houghton from Hull.
Scott Antony Connell (pictured below), 35, of The Crescent, pleaded guilty to Peter’s manslaughter after he headbutted him in the street, causing him to suffer a fatal head injury when he hit the pavement.
On the night of Saturday 17 September 2022, Peter had been in Scarborough celebrating his imminent 60th birthday with friends.
At around 9pm, as Peter and a friend walked up Newborough towards the town centre, they witnessed a verbal altercation between Connell and another man.
Peter attempted to diffuse this and was headbutted by Connell.
The force of the blow caused Peter to fall to the ground and hit his head.
He was taken to hospital by the ambulance service. Despite the efforts of the medical team, Peter tragically died the following day from his injuries.
Scott Connell fled the scene immediately after the attack. He went home and changed his clothing.
He then returned to the scene of the assault, before leaving again upon seeing a police cordon where he had attacked Peter.
Connell surrendered himself at Scarborough Police Station the following day, after seeing the public appeal on social media.
In his second police interview, he finally admitted that he had headbutted Peter.
He was later charged with his manslaughter and pleaded guilty on Monday 17 July 2023.
Connell was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court today (Tuesday 12 September 2023).
Detective Superintendent Fran Naughton from North Yorkshire Police, the senior investigating officer, said:
“Connell’s reaction to being challenged about his behaviour in the street has resulted in the tragic death of a much-loved family man.
“Our thoughts remain with Peter’s family and friends and we hope that the outcome at court provides some form of closure for them following a very distressing and traumatic time in their lives.
“No sentence can bring Peter back, but we hope that this case sends a clear message and warning to others of the potential and devastating consequences that just one strike or punch can cause.”
Devastating impact on Peter’s family: “My happiness has been destroyed”
Devoted family man Peter (pictured above) is survived by his wife Lindsey, children Gareth, Carla and Amy, and five grandchildren.
In the family’s victim personal statement that was read out in court, Mrs Houghton said she has lost half of herself:
“I miss him dearly, my happiness has been destroyed.”
Amy said “our lives aren’t the same” and Gareth said Connell has “taken my best friend away, my Dad”.
Carla read her victim personal statement out in court before the sentencing:
“Each and every death brings a different pain, but this one I cannot comprehend.
“This has been the hardest year of our lives. I’ve watched my whole family fall apart mentally and I’ve never felt pain as strong as this.
“The feeling that always completed me was seeing my mother and father together, even if I never saw them often.
“Now, all I see is my mother as she stands alone without her soulmate.
“My father was an honourable man. Hard working, strong minded, and he has passed over whole.
“He taught me everything I know today. I miss his presence! And my daughter still craves for her grandfather.
“I hope, in time, my heart will forgive. Th wounds are still fresh, but time is a great healer.
“I hope there is deep repentance for the crime that has been committed.
“I’ll never forget you, Dad.”
‘Punched Out Cold’ campaign
North Yorkshire Police is currently working with the One Punch UK charity to help prevent tragic deaths and life-changing injuries caused by punches or a headbutt in this tragic case.
The campaign initially targeted men aged 18 to 35 at pubs, bars, gyms and sports clubs over the summer holidays, and it will be repeated during the festive period.
During September, coinciding with ‘One Punch Awareness Week’ between 18 and 22 September, there will be a focus on secondary school children.