Teen guilty of Neath pub landlord's manslaughter

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Mark WinchcombeImage source, Family photo
Image caption,
Mark Winchcombe died after being hit by a single "ferocious" punch outside his pub

A 16-year old boy has been found guilty of the manslaughter of a landlord who died when he was punched outside his pub.

Mark Winchcombe, 58, suffered a "catastrophic brain injury" close to the Smiths Arms, Neath, last September.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, showed little emotion as the jury foreman delivered the verdict at Swansea Crown Court.

Judge Paul Thomas QC granted him bail before he is sentenced on 20 March.

The court had heard earlier in the trial that the 16-year-old had sent a Snapchat message with the words "oops" after the attack in the early hours of Sunday 1 September.

Image caption,
Mr Winchcombe ran the Smith Arms pub

The boy had claimed he was defending himself but after deliberating for nearly seven hours, a jury of six women and six men found him guilty by majority verdict of a single count of manslaughter.

The court had heard Mr Winchcombe and two other men had been trying to move a "gang of six youths" away from the pub when he was struck.

A video captured on the mobile phone of one of the gang showed the two groups arguing before Mr Winchcombe was punched to the ground.

He hit his head on the pavement and was taken to Morriston Hospital in Swansea, where neurosurgeons "rapidly concluded" the injury was "unsurvivable".

Speaking after the verdict, Det Supt Darren George, of South Wales Police, offered his sympathies to Mr Winchcombe's family and said the case highlighted "how disorderly behaviour can end in tragedy".

"Only one punch was thrown during the incident, unfortunately this proved to be fatal for Mark and has resulted in his family losing a much-loved father and husband," he said.