Publican guilty of manslaughter jailed for seven years

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Sentenced: Christopher Shields (left) and Terence Stevenson. Image provided by Leicestershire Police
Sentenced: Christopher Shields (left) and Terence Stevenson. Image provided by Leicestershire Police

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A former pub landlord, found guilty of the manslaughter of a man who died last year and perverting the course of justice, has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

According to Leicestershire Police, Christopher Shields, the former landlord of the King Richard III in Highcross Street, Leicester,​ had punched 52-year-old David Cooley after midnight, on Monday 23 May 2016, outside his pub.

Cooley fell to the pavement and hit his head on the kerb. He was taken to the Leicester Royal Infirmary for treatment and later moved to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre, but died three days later from a head injury. 

Shields, 55, of Hockley Farm Road in Braunstone, was sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on Friday 6 October following a 10-day trial last month.

Terence Stevenson of Norfolk Way, Leicester, was a customer in the pub that night and pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to perverting the course of justice after CCTV footage capturing the events of the night was deleted, police said. He received a two-year prison sentence.

Extensive enquiries

After "extensive enquiries" police found that after landing the punch, Shields walked back inside the pub and spoke to 47-year-old Stevenson, who could be clearly seen tampering with the CCTV equipment when specialist officers recovered the deleted footage, the police said.

Tragic circumstances

In a statement released by police at the time of Shield's conviction, Detective Chief Inspector Martin Smalley said: “David died as a result of tragic circumstances and the events of that night will continue to haunt many people for many years to come.

“His family remain devastated by his death and I can only hope that today’s verdict will go some way towards helping them to move forward.

“David was enjoying a regular evening out with friends and couldn’t possibly have conceived what was to happen later that night.

“The outcome of this case should act as a warning to anyone intent on causing injury to another person. One punch is all it took to end one man’s life and change the lives of others forever."

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