Birmingham & Black Country

Dean Hartley jailed for killing Karl Swift with one punch

Dean Hartley Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Dean Hartley struck Karl Swift with such force that he killed him

A man who killed his colleague with a single punch following an argument in a pub about football has been jailed.

Dean Hartley struck Karl Swift with such a blow he suffered a broken jaw and was knocked unconscious in New Road, Halesowen on 8 September.

Mr Swift died in hospital two days later and Hartley, 30, initially denied manslaughter.

But he was found guilty at Wolverhampton Crown Court and given an eight years and three-months jail term.

'Saw through lies'

The pair, both from South Yorkshire, had been drinking at a pub in the town with other co-workers when the row broke out.

Hartley, of the Langsett Estate, Sheffield, "squared up" to Mr Swift, who then left the pub. The rest of the group was asked to leave just after 22:00 BST.

As they walked back to their accommodation Hartley attacked Mr Swift, leaving him with a fractured skull.

At first Hartley claimed Mr Swift, 33, had fallen.

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Karl Swift died in hospital two days after the attack

However he was found guilty of manslaughter and perverting the cause of justice following a two-week trial.

The group had travelled to the West Midlands for work.

Det Insp Paul Joyce, of West Midlands Police, said: "Mr Swift was left with a broken jaw and unconscious before he even hit the floor which shows the severity of the blow he suffered.

"It became clear from our investigations [Mr Swift was] assaulted in an unprovoked attack and we set about getting justice.

"Hartley initially lied over what happened and then tried to cover his actions by claiming he acted in self-defence.

"I am pleased the jury saw through these lies and he now faces time behind bars."

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