16 April 2024

Killer jailed for choking much-loved family man to death in Withernsea pub

A man has been jailed for 13 years for choking a much-loved father to death on the floor of a Withernsea pub.

Dean Kilkenny, 47, had admitted the manslaughter of 43-year-old Darron Bower at an earlier hearing and was sentenced today at Hull Crown Court.

His brother, Darren Moverley, 44, was jailed for 20 months after pleading guilty to affray and inflicting grievous bodily harm.

The court heard the brothers and Mr Bower had all been drinking in the Pier Hotel, in Seaside Road, on the night of March 11.

A heated argument developed between two other men in the bar, resulting in one of them, who was a friend of Mr Bower’s, being struck.

Kilkenny and Moverley, both of Hubert Street, Withernsea, initially acted as peacemakers and were being sympathetic towards the man who had been hit.

However, when Mr Bower came to find out what had happened to his friend, he became involved in an argument with Moverley.

The pair began grappling and, during the struggle, Kilkenny punched Mr Bower twice in the back of the head.

Kilkenny then placed Mr Bower in a headlock and dragged him to the ground, where he continued to choke him.

The court heard Kilkenny, who has a history of violent offending, maintained “significant and constant” pressure on Mr Bower’s neck for 50 seconds, despite his victim going limp and the efforts of numerous people to drag him off.

Mr Bower, who had an underlying heart condition, did not regain consciousness, despite efforts to resuscitate him by others in the hotel.

His leaves behind family including daughters aged five and six.

The incident was captured on the hotel’s CCTV, which was shown to the court during the sentencing hearing.

The footage showed Kilkenny and Moverley being ejected from the premises and the court was shown further CCTV from the street, which captured Moverley hitting another man. He suffered a fractured eye socket.

Kilkenny and Moverley were both initially charged with murder, which they denied, before admitting the lesser charges.

In mitigation for Kilkenny, who has a string of convictions including for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, battery and false imprisonment, Michelle Colborne KC said he had been trying to defend his brother.

The court also heard Kilkenny had not been receiving adequate medical treatment while on remand following elective surgery to amputate his right leg below the knee.

However, Judge Peter Kelson KC said Kilkenny had a “propensity for violence spanning 20 years” and told him: “Any aggression shown by the deceased was fleeting. He was outnumbered and immediately overpowered.

“Your act killed Darron Bower.”

The judge sentenced Kilkenny to 13 years in prison, of which he must serve two-thirds before he is eligible for parole.

Describing Kilkenny as a danger to the public, Judge Kelson KC also sentenced him to a four-year extended licence, meaning if he reoffends during this period after his release, he will go back to prison to serve the full sentence.

Moverley was described as being of previous good character. He was jailed for five months for affray in connection with the incident in the hotel and 15 months for grievous bodily harm relating to the assault outside.

Mr Bower’s family and friends, who had packed the court, broke out in applause at the sentences.

DC Fay Woodhouse of Humberside Police said afterwards: “I would like to thank Darron’s family for their patience and courage during the judicial process. Nothing can bring Darron back, but I hope they feel a sense of justice after today’s sentencing.

“This was a violent attack fuelled by alcohol that occurred in a public place and resulted in a man losing his life. I hope this tragic incident causes people to reflect on the devastating impact that such actions can have.”

Senior investigating officer, Detective Superintendent Iain Pottage, said: “I would like to reassure the public that crimes like this are thankfully rare in our area. However, they will not be tolerated and we will always take robust action in a bid to deter violent crime in our communities and bring those responsible for committing them to justice.”

“I would like to thank the investigation team for their hard work and determination and of course the members of the public who supported the investigation which has enabled us to bring these violent men to justice.”

Darron’s partner said: “The men responsible for this left myself and Darron’s two youngest children living in a nightmare, with the biggest hole in our family’s heart. I have to explain nearly every day to my two little girls why their daddy isn’t coming home.”

Darron’s parents added: “Darron was a massive family person and he would help anybody out. That night will haunt us and the rest of our family.”

Darron’s daughter said: “My dad used to ring me every day. We used to tell each other about our day – I miss getting these phone calls and having my dad to talk to.”