Steven McKinnon death: Three jailed over fatal pub attack

Steven McKinnon Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Steven McKinnon died in hospital following the attack

Three men have been jailed for a total of 26 years for the manslaughter of a "peace keeper" who had stepped in to defend his stepson outside a pub.

Steven McKinnon, 44, died in hospital two days after he and his stepson were set upon at the Durham Ox pub in Leicester last June.

Eugene Bell, 30, was jailed for 10 years while Phillip Merry, 29, and Gurdev Sangha, 24, were sentenced to eight years each in prison.

They were all cleared of murder.

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Merry and Sangha were also handed six-month concurrent sentences for assaulting Cortney Hughes-Smith, Mr McKinnon's stepson.

A fourth man, Ross Lowndes, 27, was cleared of all charges.

Mr McKinnon, of Uppingham Road, Leicester, had been attending a leaving party with family and friends and had tried to "calm" the situation after his stepson was attacked.

Police said the trio continued to punch and kick Mr McKinnon after knocking him to the ground.

Mr McKinnon suffered a fractured skull and bleeding around the brain, from which he died.

'Who was boss'

Sentencing the trio, Mr Justice Ian Dove paid tribute to the "entirely innocent" Mr McKinnon as well as the "outstanding dignity" of his family during the four-week trial at Nottingham Crown Court.

"[Steven McKinnon's] death was a tragic loss to the community around him. That loss is, of course, nothing compared to the loss to his family," the judge said.

"All that loss was caused by you all attacking and, as a result of that attack, killing Steven McKinnon.

"Once the confrontation started, I've no doubt it was the intention of you all to show the partygoers who was boss."

Image caption The attack took place at the Durham Ox pub near Catherine Street

Det Ch Insp Natalee Wignall, who led the police inquiry, said: "Steve tried to keep the peace that night and ended up paying the ultimate price."

Bell, of Helmsley Road, Leicester; Merry, of Pinewood Avenue, Leicester; and Sangha, of Overdale Avenue, Leicester; were also all ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge.

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