A man has been jailed for six years following a serious assault in Bournemouth where a man sadly died.
Carl Stuart Woolley, 33 and of no fixed abode, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday 26 February 2021. He previously appeared at the same court on Tuesday 22 December 2020 and pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter.
At around 10pm on Sunday 13 September 2020 officers received a report of an assault at the entrance to The Avenue car park at the junction of Avenue Road and Norwich Avenue.
Officers attended and located 59-year-old local man Stephen Jeffries with a life-threatening head injury. He was taken to hospital for treatment.
It was reported that prior to the assault, Mr Jeffries was involved in a verbal altercation with a group of people near to the Flirt Café in The Triangle.
Mr Jeffries walked off along Avenue Road, but was followed by Woolley who was part of the group.
Woolley punched the victim to the face, causing him to collapse to the floor.
A full investigation into the incident was launched and a cordon was put in place to allow for an examination of the scene to be carried out.
At 6.10am on Monday 14 September 2020 Woolley presented himself to officers at the cordon and stated that he was responsible for the incident. He was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and taken into police custody.
Very sadly, Mr Jeffries died in hospital during the evening of Tuesday 15 September 2020. His family was informed and received continued support from specially-trained officers.
Woolley was subsequently charged with murder. Following his plea of guilty to a charge of manslaughter, Dorset Police and the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that the plea was acceptable and they would not be seeking a trial on the murder charge.
Following the sentencing, the family of Mr Jeffries has issued the following statement: “The outcome of the trial will never be enough in terms of justice. The loss we feel as a family will never be justified. A life has been taken without regards.
“Due to the current circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic we feel cheated of the opportunity to stand before the court and to witness the sentencing of the man who has caused such devastation and changed our lives and worlds forever. We did not get to stand before this man and to look him in the eye and read out our statements of what catastrophic loss and grief we are all subjected to and to see if he is filled with remorse.
“Stephen was a kind and loving father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend who loved life. Stephen will be dearly missed by all who loved him, family and friends. We would like to thank the medical teams at Poole General Hospital who cared for him and supported the family during this time. We would also like to thank The Homicide Service who assisted us and the prosecution team and courts for their work that saw the offender plead guilty to Stephen’s manslaughter.”
Detective Inspector Wayne Seymour, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT), said: “This tragic case highlights that punching someone, just like Carl Woolley did that night, can have devastating fatal consequences.
“Specialist officers have continued to support the family of Mr Jeffries and my thoughts remain with his loved ones.
“Dorset Police does not tolerate violence of any nature in our communities and we will always ensure a detailed investigation is carried out to bring offenders to justice.
“I hope the sentence handed out today will provide Mr Jeffries’ family and friends with some closure and serve as a reminder to the public about the dangers that just one mindless and avoidable punch can have.”