Southminster man convicted of manslaughter after fight in Maldon resulted in death

A Southminster man has been convicted of manslaughter following the death of a man after a fight in Maldon High Street last year.

Daryl Bunn and his friend became involved in an altercation with a group of people outside the Iceland store at around 8.50pm on June 29 2019.

Mr Bunn, 27, from Maldon, was flown to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge but died as a result of his injuries.

The pair had met up on the 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, Mr Bunn 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.

Sonny Hazell, 25, of Kings Road, Southminster, was charged with manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Jordan Hooper, 24, of Princes Avenue, Southminster, was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

They denied the charges and stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday November 16, 2020.
On Monday November 30, a jury found Hazell guilty of manslaughter. He is due to be sentenced on January 8, 2021.

Both Hazell and Hooper were acquitted of causing grievous bodily harm in relation to Mr Bunn’s friend.

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Lee Morton, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “This is a tragic case where someone has lost their life through no fault of their own following an altercation and a fight.

“The case shows that any act of violence can lead to someone being seriously injured and even killed.

“Daryl Bunn’s death was needless and completely avoidable, and his family and fiancée have been left devastated.

“They have been in court throughout the trial and heard how Daryl did nothing to instigate or provoke the incident that led to him losing his life.

“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.”

Mick Ferris

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