Birmingham & Black Country

Man jailed for killing Wetherspoon worker in Walsall

Matthew Powney Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Matthew Powney was a "gentle, kind and loving person", his family said

A man has been jailed for five years after he killed a bar worker who was waiting for a bus home.

Matthew Powney, 31, died after he was punched by Shaun Addison outside The Malthouse in Walsall - where he worked - on 9 July.

Addison, 27, of no fixed address, had previously admitted manslaughter and assault and was sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

West Midlands Police said Mr Powney had been an innocent bystander.

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption West Midlands Police said Shaun Addison punched three people on the night he killed Mr Powney

The father-of-one died from head injuries he sustained in the fight, which happened outside the Wetherspoon pub, on New Road in Willenhall, shortly after midnight.

Det Insp Justin Mason-Spanner, who led the investigation into Mr Powney's death, said three people had been having a "dispute" on the 592 bus over a mobile phone, and the driver had called the police before Addison became involved when it pulled over.

"By getting involved he then displayed inappropriate, impulsive and reckless behaviour that led to him punching three people that night, two people from the bus, then turning round and punching Matthew Powney in the face," he said.

"Matthew had shown absolutely no threat or risk, he hadn't even spoken to Addison at that point in time."

Mr Mason-Spanner said that after the attack Addison offered no help to his victims and fled the scene.

In a statement, Mr Powney's family said: "Matthew was free-spirited with a kind heart. He was passionate and enjoyed making people laugh.

"Everyday gets harder knowing we will never see him again."

A Wetherspoon spokesman described his death was tragic, adding: "We are pleased that justice has been served."

Addison was originally charged with murder and wounding, but the court later accepted the lesser manslaughter plea.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Matthew Powney died from injuries suffered outside the pub

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