Pub CCTV leads to eight-year prison sentence for man found guilty of manslaughter

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Behind bars: Anthony Gardener was sentenced to eight years in prison after being found guilty of manslaughter (picture provided by Thames Valley Police)
Behind bars: Anthony Gardener was sentenced to eight years in prison after being found guilty of manslaughter (picture provided by Thames Valley Police)

Related tags Law Crime Closed-circuit television

A pub’s clear CCTV footage led to the sentencing of a man who killed a father-of-eight inside the premises with a “single punch”.

According to Thames Valley Police, 62-year-old Anthony Gardener punched Dean Haverley, 48, in “an act of cowardly violence”  inside the George Inn, High Street, Burnham, Buckinghamshire, at 12.01am on 13 August 2016.

Haverley, from Burnham, was treated at the scene but later died in hospital.

Gardener, from Burlington Road, Burnham, was arrested on the day of the offence and on 31 January this year was charged with one count of manslaughter.

On 11 October, following a six-day trial, the defendant was found unanimously guilty at Reading Crown Court and sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment.

Not self-defence

Police have since praised the pub’s CCTV system which provided key evidence in the case.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Stuart Blaik of the Major Crime Unit, said: “The jury has concluded today that the single punch thrown by Anthony Gardener was not in self-defence as he claimed but was an unlawful act which caused the death of Dean Haverley.

“This incident was captured on good-quality CCTV from within the George Inn.

“The CCTV clearly shows that this was not an act of self-defence but an act of cowardly violence which has resulted in Dean’s death.

“Understandably this incident has had a profound effect on Dean’s family, but they have conducted themselves in a most dignified way throughout an incredibly difficult period of their lives.”

Haverley’s death has left his six children and two stepsons without their father. Dean also leaves behind his long-term partner.

“All of his family are finding it very difficult to come to terms with the fact he is no longer by their side,” said Blaik.

Single punch can kill

“This incident is a timely reminder that a single punch can kill and have devastating effects on all those involved,” continued the detective inspector. “There was absolutely no need for Gardener to punch Dean that night in August last year so I am satisfied that justice has been done”.

In tribute, Haverley’s family said: “With Dean’s untimely and unnecessary demise came a dark cloud that cannot ever be lifted.

“He was always the uplifting spirit that guided us all through life.

“Dean was a genuinely lovely husband, a loving father, brother, son, and friend to everyone. He will be missed by all.

“His memory will always live on in his children, and he will never ever be forgotten.

“We are blessed to have had him in our lives, no one will understand the devastation that his passing leaves behind.”

The court case comes days after a former publican was sentenced to seven years​ in prison after being found guilty of manslaughter and perverting the course of justice after he punched a customer, which led to his death three days later.

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