Lancaster man jailed for manslaughter


Kieran Cuffe has been sentenced to four years and eight months imprisonment at Preston Crown Court today for the manslaughter of John Houston.

Kieran Cuffe admitted to police that he and John Houston had got involved in a fight in John Houston's home and that he had punched him at least twice in the face. Kieran Cuffe then left the property. There were no other direct witnesses to the incident. Kieran Cuffe asked a number of people later that night and the next  day to check on John Houston's welfare, but he did not inform police or the ambulance service. John Houston was found dead two days later after concerned family and friends forced entry into his property.

Kieran Cuffe pleaded guilty to manslaughter at a hearing in July and the case was adjourned for sentence.

Stuart Pattinson, Senior Crown Prosecutor, CPS North West Area said: "This is a terribly tragic case in which John Houston lost his life at his own home, following a fight there with the defendant on the evening of Saturday 2nd April.

"Only the defendant knows what led to the two men falling out that evening; only he knows what then transpired and led to John's death. After leaving the scene and up to the time that John's body was discovered, the defendant failed to take responsibility for his actions, did not seek help from the emergency services, and instead attempted to persuade others to check on John's welfare on his behalf. Sadly, John passed away as a result of the serious injuries caused by the defendant. By pleading guilty to manslaughter the defendant has accepted that the blows he struck the victim caused his death and were clearly excessive.

"John's death has been devastating to the family, who have shown enormous courage and strength in such difficult circumstances. Their Victim Personal Statements, read to the court during the hearing, paid testament to a kind, gifted man who had been taken away from them so needlessly; the conviction and sentence can only be the first step for them in beginning to come to terms with their loss."