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Alan Watts guilty of manslaughter

12/12/2013

Alan Watts has today (12 December) been found guilty of the manslaughter of Brian Holmes. He was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment at Luton Crown Court.

Ruth Bowskill, Temporary Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: "This case shows how a moment of madness can change people's lives forever and represents a tragedy for the family of Brian Holmes. The victim was attacked in a show of extraordinary violence in a car park after a petty argument with Alan Watts. Not long before this fateful day, Mr Holmes had been given the all clear from cancer. His family and friends have been devastated by his death.

"Although Alan Watts admitted punching Mr Holmes, he claimed that Mr Holmes was the aggressor and that he punched him once in self defence. Mr Holmes was in fact trying to defend himself from Mr Watts's violent outburst and the jury found Mr Watts guilty of manslaughter despite his denials.

"I would like to pay tribute to Mr Holmes's family for their wholehearted support of this investigation and prosecution and the dignity they have displayed while hearing the details of how he died.

"We have worked closely with Bedfordshire Police since this investigation was launched and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved.

"Nothing will bring Mr Holmes back to his family and friends, but we hope that today's conviction and sentence brings them at least a small sense that justice has been done. Our thoughts are very much with them at this time."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  4. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.