“SADLY, this case highlights just how devastating one punch can be.”
Those were the words of Detective Chief Inspector Simon Childe after a man was sentenced for causing the death of a popular Salisbury man after a fight on a night out.
Connor Pool, of Winterbourne Gunner, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Freddie Fontete-Jones – and has been sentenced to nine years behind bars.
Freddie, 23, died following an assault in New Canal, Salisbury, on February 20 last year.
Police were called to the area at around 3am following two 999 calls. When officers arrived, Freddie was unconscious and paramedics were giving first aid. He was taken to hospital and sadly died two days later.
Pool, 25, was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court on February 6.
After the hearing, Freddie’s family paid tribute to an ‘amazing person’.
“Freddie was the best brother, the best son and simply the greatest friend anyone could have,” they said. “It is so difficult to put into words just what an amazing person Freddie was and the impact he had on so many lives.
“We, as a family, share so many incredible memories of him and we will always be so proud of him and what he achieved. We are devastated beyond words that his life was cut short in the cruellest way imaginable.
“We would like to thank everybody who has provided support to us since his passing.
“We would like to thank the hospital NHS staff that attended to Freddie during his final hours. We would also like to thank the people of Salisbury for their kindness and generosity, as well as the police and investigation team for their support.”
DCI Childe, from the Major Crime Investigation Team at Wiltshire Police, said: “As a result of Pool’s actions, Freddie sustained a traumatic brain injury from which he never recovered.
“Pool’s actions were both callous and reckless and have completely devastated Freddie’s family, many friends and local community and I know his loss will be felt for many years to come. Our thoughts remain with Freddie’s family today.
“Sadly, this case highlights just how devastating one punch can be. A split-second decision to act in a violent way can destroy lives. Your actions can cause complete devastation and a lifetime of regret.
“We’d urge people to really think hard about their decisions when consuming alcohol on a night out – think about what triggers you and what you can do to prevent your feelings from escalating.
“If you ever find yourself in a situation which has the potential to escalate into violence, please – walk away.
“From the very beginning, this was a fast-paced investigation, with multiple witnesses to interview in order to ascertain the circumstances leading up to the assault.
“Both the local uniformed officers who were called to the incident and those from the Major Crime Investigation Team who have subsequently been involved in the investigation have been dedicated and diligent throughout and I would like to thank them all for their efforts in securing justice for Freddie’s family.”