Cheddar takeaway victim Jim Hewlett's killer faces jail

Jim Hewlett
Image caption Jim Hewlett was dead before he hit the ground, the court was told

A man from Devon has been warned he faces jail after he admitted shoving a footballer in the head - a blow that killed him before he hit the ground.

Samuel Binning, 21, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Jim Hewlett, 24, in the early hours of 1 January outside a takeaway in Cheddar, Somerset.

At Bristol Crown Court, Judge Neil Ford told him there was an "inevitability" he would face a custodial sentence.

Binning, formerly of Cheddar, now living in Crediton, was granted bail.

The court was told all of those present at the scene had consumed a considerable amount of alcohol.

Prosecutor Stephen Mooney said Binning had been striking out at a number of people, in order to get to a friend who was caught up in a fight.

He said witnesses had seen Binning strike Mr Hewlett to the temple and the application of force had been enough that his head moved in such a manner to cause a haemorrhage to develop almost instantaneously.

He added medical evidence showed Mr Hewlett was "dead before he hit the ground".

'One hard shove'

The court was told Binning was "not a young man of good character", that he had a history of violence when drunk and on the night in question he had also been consuming Class B drugs.

Judge Ford granted Binning bail and adjourned sentencing until 18 July.

He described Binning's actions as an "unreasonable response to what was happening", but accepted it had been "one hard shove with an open hand".

"This was a glancing blow that caused rotation or extension of the neck and head," Judge Ford said.

He told Binning: "There is an inevitability that you will receive a custodial sentence."

Mr Hewlett regularly played football and had been club captain for Cheddar AFC.

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