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Man who killed stranger with a single punch has been jailed

|News, Violent crime

A man who killed a stranger with a single punch before entering a pub and bragging about it has been jailed.

Darren John Fell, 41, was convicted of manslaughter and was today sentenced to nine years in prison after striking Wayne Sheppard.

Shortly before 10pm on 2 July 2022, Fell encountered Mr Sheppard, 44, outside flats on New Park Street, Devizes, and the two men exchanged a few words.

Witnesses stated Mr Sheppard showed no aggression towards Fell before the defendant suddenly punched the victim to the jaw.

As Mr Sheppard collapsed, he hit his head on the concrete floor and suffered a catastrophic brain injury.

Fell then casually walked away from the scene and bought a drink at a nearby pub where he almost immediately began talking about the incident, telling one person he had “just sparked someone out”.

Mr Sheppard was rushed to Swindon Great Western Hospital but never regained consciousness. He sadly died six days later.

Fell was initially charged with causing grievous bodily harm but, upon Mr Sheppard’s death, was later charged with manslaughter.

Whilst admitting he had punched Mr Sheppard, Fell claimed he felt threatened and was acting in self-defence.

This, however, was rejected by the jury after prosecutors pieced together CCTV footage and presented evidence from witnesses which proved the victim showed no hostility towards Fell prior to the incident.

Fell was found guilty of manslaughter following a trial at Winchester Crown Court.

Simon Clark, CPS Wessex Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: “This was a senseless act of violence which had fatal consequences and our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Mr Sheppard.

“There was absolutely no reason for Fell to punch Mr Sheppard, who was of no threat to him.

“To stroll into a pub immediately after rendering a man unconscious and revelling in it to strangers shows a complete lack of remorse.

“The CPS welcomes today’s sentence and hopes it sends a clear message that we are committed to securing justice for those affected by such violent acts.

“Let this be a stark reminder of the devastating impacts a single punch can have.”

Notes to editors

  • Darren Fell’s DOB is 08/09/1982
  • He was charged with one count of manslaughter

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