Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Man jailed for manslaughter of Doncaster cyclist Ray Eden

A man has been jailed for killing a former international cycling champion who died from "catastrophic" head injuries after trying to stop a row.

Luke Jolly punched Ray Eden in the face after he tried to calm down an argument between Jolly and his girlfriend near their home in Scawthorpe, Doncaster.

Jolly, 24, was jailed for four years and nine months after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Mr Eden's wife Gail said: "Since Ray's death I have been left feeling robbed."

Mr Eden, 42, who had a 12-year-old son, won the national 100-mile time trial cycling championship in 1995 and represented Great Britain four times in stage racing.

He was also a keen rower, and worked for cycle firm Planet X.

Describing the events leading up to Mr Eden's death, police said he left his home on 18 March and saw an argument between Jolly and his girlfriend.

He approached the couple in an attempt to calm things down and was punched in the face.

'Truly innocent'

Det Insp Steve Leach, from South Yorkshire Police, said: "Such was the ferocity of the punch, Mr Eden had no time to defend himself.

"Jolly tried to drag Mr Eden to his feet and when he realised he could not, dropped him, banging his head once more."

Police said that as neighbours came to administer first aid, Jolly and his girlfriend fled the scene in Jolly's car.

Mr Eden died three days later in hospital.

Image caption Police described Jolly as a "bully" who was no stranger to violence

Mr Leach said: "Mr Eden was a truly innocent man; he was not drunk, violent or argumentative.

"The decision to try to calm a situation down and help others ultimately cost Mr Eden his life."

He added: "This is in stark contrast to Jolly who is no stranger to violence.

"He is a bully with an unpredictable side to his personality."

In a statement read out at Sheffield Crown Court, Mrs Eden said her husband's death had left a "huge gap" in her life and that of her 12-year-old son.

"Nothing and no-one will ever replace the love I had for this kind and decent person that I was proud, honoured and privileged to call my husband," she said.

"You have taken not only my husband's life, but also the lives of my son Finn and me, and everything we had planned for the future."

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