Manchester

Derek Szostok death: William Lynch jailed for killing 'peacemaker'

William Lynch Image copyright Gmp
Image caption Lynch lived in the flat above Mr Szostok and the pair regularly socialised together

A man whose drunken argument with his brother resulted in him pushing over and killing an intervening "peacemaker" has been jailed for manslaughter.

William Lynch, 41, of Moresby Close, Leigh, shoved neighbour Derek Szostok during the row at his flat on 26 August 2014, causing him to hit his head.

Police said Lynch considered the 62-year-old a "father figure, which makes Derek's death even more tragic".

He was sentenced to four years and three months at Liverpool Crown Court.

Greater Manchester Police said an argument had broken out between Lynch and his brother while they were drinking in Lynch's flat with Mr Szostok and two other friends.

Mr Szostok lived in the flat below Lynch and would often socialise with him.

'A tragic picture'

A police spokesman said while the row had started out as being "reasonably childish", it became "more violent" with Lynch throwing a coffee table and putting his foot through a television.

Mr Szostok stood up to intervene but was pushed by Lynch, causing him to knock his head against the top of the stairs.

He was taken to hospital, where he died a few days later after a 10-hour operation to try to treat a fractured skull and other injuries.

A post-mortem examination found he had died as a result of flexation of the neck.

Det Ch Insp Howard Millington said it was "an extremely sad case, the facts of which paint a tragic picture of excessive alcohol consumption".

"Lynch looked up to Derek as a sort of father-figure, and the two were close, which makes Derek's death even more tragic.

"It is clear that Derek was trying to play peacemaker between two brothers [and was] an innocent victim caught up in a row not of his own making."

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