BREAKING ESSEX MALDON

A man’s been jailed for three years for manslaughter after the death of Daryl Bunn in Maldon

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Daryl, 27, died in hospital on 30 June 2019, after being assaulted the day before. 

Sonny Hazell, 25, of Kings Road, Southminster, was found guilty by jury at Chelmsford Crown Court on 30 November 2020.

The jury heard how Mr Bunn and his friend became involved in an altercation with a group of people outside the Iceland store at around 8.50pm on 29 June, 2019.

The pair had met up that afternoon to discuss their ‘Best Man’ speeches at another friend’s forthcoming wedding.

They later met their other friends at the Oakhouse pub and the Blue Boar in the High Street.

Daryl and his friend left together between 8pm and 8.30pm to head back to Daryl’s house.

As they made that journey, they became involved in an altercation with a group of people.

During the incident, Daryl was punched once, causing him to fall backwards. He hit his head on the ground and a forensic post-mortem examination found he had suffered a traumatic brain injury.

His friend suffered a broken jaw.

Daryl, from Maldon, was flown to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge but sadly died as a result of his injuries.

Sonny Hazell, then 23, was charged with manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Hazell denied the charges and stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday 16 November 2020.

On Monday 30 November, a jury found Hazell guilty of manslaughter. He was acquitted of causing grievous bodily harm in relation to Daryl’s friend.

At the same court yesterday (Friday 8 January) he was sentenced to three years in prison.

In a statement following the sentencing, Daryl’s family said: “Three years will never be enough in our eyes for our Daryl, but justice has been done and that was what we promised him and now we can finally grieve.

“We would like to thank Essex Police, not just for all the hard work on the investigation but also for all the support they have given us, Hannah and our extended family.

“We would also like to thank the jury for coming to the right decision.

“Finally we would like to thank our family and friends for their continued support and love throughout this horrific time.”.

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Lee Morton, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “This is a tragic case where Daryl Bunn lost his life because of the reckless actions of Sonny Hazell.

“Hazell will have had time to contemplate how catastrophic the events of that night were.

“The jury found him guilty of manslaughter, despite him pleading not guilty to his actions on the night, and this brings an end to this trial for him.

“However, this is the beginning of a future without Daryl for his fiancé, family and friends.

“They have remained dignified throughout this incredibly difficult time and I want to thank them for their support throughout our investigation and the court case.”

Another man, Jordan Hooper, 24, of Princes Avenue, Southminster, was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent in connection with the assault.

He denied the charge and stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday 16 November 2020 where he was acquitted of causing grievous bodily harm in relation to Mr Bunn’s friend.

A third man arrested – a then 23-year-old man from Maldon – was arrested but released without charge.