The family of a man who died from a single punch by a 16-year-old as he cowered defencelessly have slammed his killer’s three-year sentence as a ‘kick in the stomach’. Connor Stewart was filmed on a mobile phone as he ‘shadow boxed’ Michael Rhodes, 47, before lashing out with a killer blow that fractured his skull. Mr Rhodes can be seen holding his hands up to protect himself and trying to walk away from trouble before he was attacked in Blackpool, Lancashire. The footage, which was shown at Preston Crown Court, then shows Mr Rhodes being punched in the face by Stewart.
Drug addict Mr Rhodes is then seen falling back onto the pavement, smacking the back of his head hard on the concrete. As Stewart runs off with a number of other youths, Mr Rhodes is left lying motionless on the ground, while one person can be heard shouting, ‘Oi, he’s bleeding. His head’s bleeding.’ And another voice says, ‘He’s killed him.’
The court was told Stewart, who initially told police he had acted in self-defence but later admitted a charge of manslaughter, returned to the scene and urged his victim to ‘wake up’, before fleeing once more. The sickening footage was widely shared on social media in the days and weeks that followed the brutal assault on Saturday, May 20. And the teen showed little emotion as it was replayed in court on Monday morning.
The teenager will serve a sentence of three years in a young offenders’ institute after admitting killing Mr Rhodes outside a shop.
He can be named after a challenge by the press on reporting restrictions. Wearing a black hooded top, Stewart sat staring at the floor as the court heard how Mr Rhodes was ‘baited and abused’ by youngsters after rowing with staff inside a corner shop.
Sickening Moment Boy Kills A Defenseless Man With A Single Punch To Show Off To His Friends