Carl Stuart Woolley, 33 and of no fixed abode, appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court on Tuesday 22 December 2020 and pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter. He will be sentenced on Friday 29 January 2021.
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 supported 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.
Detective Inspector Wayne Seymour, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT), said: “Carl Woolley admitted assaulting Mr Jeffries from the outset of this investigation and his guilty plea reflects this.
“This was a tragic incident where just one punch sadly led to the death of Mr Jeffries.
“Violence of this nature will not be tolerated in Dorset and we will always carry out a full and thorough investigation to ensure the culprits are brought to justice.
“My thoughts remain with the friends and family of Stephen Jeffries for their very sad loss.”