One-punch killer who attacked dad-of-three on night out with son jailed for five years


Dad Matthew Carroll, 50, suffered brain injuries after being punched once in the face in Birmingham city center during a night out last August

Matthew Carroll, 50, suffered brain injuries after being punched once in the face
Matthew Carroll, 50, suffered brain injuries after being punched once in the face

A one-punch killer has been jailed for five years over a fatal attack on a dad enjoying a night out with his son.

Matthew Carroll, 50, suffered brain injuries after being punched once in the face on The Water’s Edge, Brindleyplace, in Birmingham city centre, at around 1.30am on August 29 last year.

The force of the punch broke his jaw and caused him to fall backwards and hit his head off the ground ‘with considerable force’, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Mr Carroll, a father-of-three from Solihull, West Midlands was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham but was pronounced dead at 4.50pm that day.

Matthew Mahony, 33, of Stone Road, Edgbaston, pleaded guilty to a manslaughter in December.

Today, Mahony was jailed after a trial of issue hearing to establish what happened on the morning in question.

The court heard Mr Carroll had been out to celebrate his son Andrew’s birthday when he was punched outside the Slug & Lettuce bar in response to an earlier incident inside.

Police cordon outside the Slug & Lettuce bar in Brindleyplace
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Judge Paul Farrer QC heard how Andrew Carroll was arrested over his alleged involvement in the earlier altercation, only to be de-arrested when “the predicament of the father was apparent to all”.

The judge proceeded on the basis that the ‘aggression’ shown by Andrew Carroll inside the Slug & Lettuce precipitated the violence outside.

Regarding Mr Carroll himself, Judge Farrer told the court there was “no sign of aggression” on his behalf.

Addressing Mahony’s actions, Judge Farrer described his punch as ‘significant’ but said it “could not fairly be described as ferocious”.

Michael Duck QC, prosecuting, described the blow as ‘gratuitous’ and said: “It is sometimes referred to as cheap shot.”

Carroll was killed during a night out in Birmingham
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Mr Duck said Mahony left the scene while bar staff and other members of the public immediately tended to Mr Carroll, who was lying motionless on the ground.

Mahony later confessed what he had done to his mother and handed himself into the police on September 1.

He initially claimed he perceived Mr Carroll to be a threat to his two friends.

Christopher Millington QC, mitigating, clarified he was not seeking to argue legal self-defence – including the defense of others – and said his client accepted his actions were not necessary or proportionate.

He said Mahony had been to a friend’s funeral wake on August 28 and had had a ‘modest’ amount to drink but was not intoxicated.

The barrister refuted the notion it was a ‘free blow’ and argued Mr Carroll was not acting as a peacemaker throughout the night.

Judge Farrer, ruling on the issue, accepted there was ‘context’ to Mahony’s attack but rejected the basis of plea ‘to the extent it suggested Mahony believed Mr Carroll posed any threat, whether immediate or non-immediate, to members of his group’ .

Matthew Mahony was jailed during a hearing at Birmingham Crown Court
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Referring to his client’s decision to hand himself in three days after the attack, Mr Millington said: “His intention was to ease the effects of what he had done and assist the police.

“This was before his name had been posted as wanted. The nature of his self-report was extremely prompt.”

Mr Millington also confirmed Mahony had written a letter to Mr Carroll’s family which had been passed to the police.

In a statement read to the hearing, Mr Carroll’s eldest daughter, Jessica, said that “having a father taken away was unspeakable in
every way, shape and form”.

They said he was a “kind, loving man who didn’t deserve this.”

In his sentencing remarks Judge Farrer told Mahony: “You attacked a man offering no threat to anybody, instead your friends were
confronting him and outnumbering him.

“I accept you may have believed he was involved in an argument with friends in your group.

“But I don’t accept you believed he was about to subject them to unlawful violence. I reject any suggestion you believed they needed protection.”

The judge said it was ‘aggravating’ that Mahony involved himself in violence in public.

He ruled it was in Mahony’s favor that he ‘did not go out seeking trouble’ and ‘played no part in the events that led to the outbreak of violence’

Judge Farrer described the fatal punch as a ‘spontaneous blow thrown in the heat of the moment’.

He also took into account positive character references, a lack of previous convictions for violence, the fact Mahony handed himself in, and the defendant’s ‘genuine remorse’.

Mahony was told he will serve up to half of the five-year term in custody.

He hesitated and gave a thumbs-up towards the judge as he was sentenced, before saying: “Thank you.”

He then turned to his family before he was led to his cell and added: “Love you, thank you for supporting me.”

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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