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Oliver Dearlove death: Trevor Timon cleared of murder

Oliver Dearlove, with his girlfriend Claire Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Oliver Dearlove died within 24 hours of the attack

An unemployed plasterer who killed a banker with a single punch on a night out in south-east London has been cleared of his murder.

Trevor Timon hit Oliver Dearlove while he and friends were talking to a group of women in Blackheath in August 2016.

Timon, aged 31, from Plumstead, had admitted manslaughter but denied murdering Mr Dearlove.

He will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday.

How lives are devastated by a single blow

Mr Dearlove had been drinking with former Portsmouth University friends on 27 August when members of the group were approached by Timon as they spoke to four women.

The 30-year-old, who lived with his girlfriend Claire Wheatley in New Eltham, was knocked unconscious when he was attacked. He died 24 hours later.

A post mortem found he suffered a traumatic basal subarachnoid haemorrhage.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption The jury heard details of Timon's previous violent behaviour

One of the women told the court that she was having a "polite" conversation with Mr Dearlove, showing him baby pictures, when Timon walked towards them and asked "what's going on?".

Andrew Cook, one of the banker's friends, said Timon came from nowhere and "was looking for a fight".

He said: "We didn't know why, it all happened so quickly."

Timon admitted telling Mr Dearlove he would "knock him out", but said it was a figure of speech and the result of being called a "half chap" by someone in the group.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mr Dearlove lived with his girlfriend Claire Wheatley in New Eltham

He sent a series of messages to one of the women, saying he "never ever meant to do it" and was "sorry really from the bottom of my heart".

During the trial, the jury also heard details of Timon's previous violent behaviour.

These included angrily shouting at a bus driver while brandishing a golf club in February 2008 and punching a woman in the face in May 2010 when she was talking to another man.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Mr Dearlove's mother said his death was "like a life sentence"

In a statement, Mr Dearlove's mother Joy Wright said the "brutal and unnecessary killing... has left a gaping hole in our family".

She described her son as a "quiet unassuming, modest boy" who had "been robbed of an amazing and fulfilled future".

"Regardless of the sentence Timon receives, nothing will bring our Oli back," she said.

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