Victim’s gran welcomes one-punch killers review

HEARTBROKEN ... Margaret Windle, grandmother of Dean, below.
HEARTBROKEN ... Margaret Windle, grandmother of Dean, below.

THE heartbroken grandmother of a South Tyneside man who was killed by a single punch, has welcomed a review into how killers are sentenced.

Dean Windle, 26, a businessman from Cleadon, suffered multiple head injuries when he fell after being punched on a night out in Newcastle with friends in November 2006.

His grandmother, Margaret Windle, has welcomed a review which has been ordered by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling into the way criminals who kill with a single punch are sentenced.

The move comes after a Court of Appeal ruled a four-year sentence for manslaughter given to a man who hit an Asperger’s sufferer in an unprovoked attack was not unduly lenient.

Andrew Young, 40, died after being punched once by Lewis Gill, 21, from South London, in Bournmouth, last November.

Mr Grayling has now asked the Sentencing Council to condsider whether “further guidance” is neeeded for judges in handling such cases.

Mrs Windle, from Butcher’s Bridge Road, Jarrow, said: “I really feel for this family. My heart goes out to them.

“These people who got out looking for trouble have no idea of the lives they tear apart.

“I’m glad there’s going to be a review into this, as the sentences need to be tougher.

“If you go into a fight, there is always the chance your could kill someone, I just don’t know why people do it.”

She added: “It has been more than seven years since Dean was taken from me and there is not a day that goes by when I don’t think about him or his dad, who died of a heart attack two years before Dean was killed.

“Dean was such a lovely lad, he had his whole life ahead of him. He was looking for someone special he could marry and have kids with. He loved children.

Dean was attacked as he and three friends made their way to a taxi rank at Newcastle’s Central Station after a birthday night out.

One of the chips they had been throwing playfully at each other hit Michael Kennedy’s girlfriend and trouble flared.

Mr Windle offered his hand in an attempt to calm the situation, but was felled with one punch from Kennedy.

He hit his head on railings as he fell and died in hospital almost 24 hours later, as a result of multiple head injuries.
Kennedy, then 19, from Felling, Gateshead – who has since been released from prison – was jailed indefinitely but was ordered to serve a minimum of two years before being allowed to apply for parole.

Mr Windle was a computer games designer and a director of Dean Windle Consultants Ltd and Paul Windle Design Ltd, a Newcastle-based creative art studio with clients like Walt Disney, Warner Bros and Miramax.

The company was founded by his father, Paul, a successful artist and designer, who died aged just 43.

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