Man jailed for the manslaughter of Karl Swift


A 30-year-old man from Sheffield has today jailed for eight years after he was found guilty at Wolverhampton Crown Court of the manslaughter of Karl Swift.

On 8 September 2016, the victim, Mr Swift was part of a group of men who had been drinking at The William Shenstone public house in Halesowen.  This group included the defendant Dean Hartley Jnr. Late in the evening the victim and another man had an altercation in the pub which resulted in the victim and the group he was with being asked to leave the premises.

CCTV evidence a short distance from the pub showed Mr Swift walking away from the premises with the defendant and other members of the group following him.  When Hartley caught up with the victim he punched him to the face, which caused him to fall to the ground and hit his head on the pavement, fracturing his skull.  Paramedics arrived at the scene and transferred the victim to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Mr Swift sadly passed away two days later as a result of his injuries.

The defendant has been found guilty of manslaughter and at the beginning of his trial, he also admitted a charge of perverting the course of justice.  

Ian Crooks, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"This was an unprovoked assault on Mr Swift by Dean Hartley Jnr, which has resulted in the tragic death of the victim.

"Having been part of a group that were asked to leave a public house, Mr Swift left before the others in his group.  His actions made it clear that he did not want any further confrontation.

"However, the defendant followed Mr Swift outside the premises and a short distance away, he confronted him.  The defendant then punched Mr Swift to the face which resulted in him falling to ground and hitting his head on the pavement.  The impact fractured Mr Swift’s skull and was an injury from which he was never to recover.

"Our thoughts are today with the family of Mr Swift, for whom this case has been an extremely traumatic experience and we hope that the verdict and sentence provides them with some closure."