‘It feels like a nightmare’: Mum urges people to Walk Away from fights after son’s death

IT started as an ordinary day. Gifty Tetteh returned home from her night shift and went to bed.

She woke up at 5pm and her son Freddie Fontete-Jones asked if she could mend his trousers.

Gifty said she was cooking dinner and could do it afterwards. Freddie went out – and he never came back.

It is believed Freddie was called by his close friends; people he had grown up with, and told there was trouble in town.

He got a taxi and joined them to try to calm the situation down. But Freddie was punched unconscious and never woke up.

Police went to New Canal, Salisbury, at around 3am on February 20, following two 999 calls reporting disorder.

When officers arrived, Freddie was unconscious and paramedics were giving first aid, before he was taken to hospital.

Officers called Gifty at work and told her Freddie had been injured and it was not looking good. She went to hospital but was told a couple of hours later he was unlikely to survive.

Two days later, following tests, Freddie was declared dead.

Two years on, Gifty said: “Even now, I can’t believe that Freddie’s gone. I just feel like it’s a nightmare. It’s a dream that I am having that one day I’m going to wake up.”

Freddie Fontete-Jones died after an incident in Salisbury. Photo: Dorset Police

Freddie Fontete-Jones died after an incident in Salisbury. Picture: Dorset Police

Now, the heartbroken mother is supporting Wiltshire Police’s Walk Away campaign, which aims to encourage anyone to exercise self-control and to walk away from heated situations before violence can break out.

The campaign’s message also calls on friends and bystanders of potential offenders, as well as members of the public, to de-escalate a situation if safe to do so.

“I’m not telling you not to go out, it’s good to go out and enjoy yourself,” Gifty said. “But please, please keep your hands to yourself.

READ MORE: Connor Pool jailed for manslaughter of Freddie Fontete-Jones

“If you know that you have had too much to drink, just go home. It’s better that than do something which you will regret and you put somebody’s family through what I am going through.

“I don’t want to wish this to anybody, no mother should have to go through this. I didn’t even have time to say goodbye to my son. So I am begging you; don’t do this to anybody.”

Connor Pool, 25, of Salt Lane, Winterbourne Gunner, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to nine years at Winchester Crown Court in February 2023.

Connor Pool was jailed for manslaughter. Picture: Dorset Police

Connor Pool was jailed for manslaughter. Picture: Dorset Police

He appealed his sentence and in July 2023 it was reduced to seven years and six months.

Freddie’s death has left a lasting impact of his family, friends and community.

But it has also changed the lives of the man convicted of Freddie’s manslaughter, Connor and his family.

Gifty added: “I don’t know what his mum is going through and I don’t wish to go through what she is going through.

“If my son had killed somebody, for the rest of my life I would have to live with it. I’m going through pain but sometimes I think about his mum.”

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