Barnsley man jailed for killing football club chairman with single punch

Jason Derbyshire, 33, of Welland Court, Higham
Jason Derbyshire, 33, of Welland Court, Higham
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A South Yorkshire man who killed a father-of-three with a single punch has been sentenced to almost five years in prison.

Jason Derbyshire, 33, of Welland Court, Higham, attacked 46-year-old Nicholas Bedford at the Blue Room Bar in Barnsley in the early hours of November 2, 2015.

Nicholas Bedford

Nicholas Bedford

He walked up to his victim from behind and with no provocation at all punched him. Mr Bedford later died from his injuries.

Derbyshire was charged with manslaughter after Mr Bedford’s death, which he admitted. And at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday, he was sentenced to four years and 10 months behind bars.

Detective chief inspector Dave Stopford, the senior investigating officer in the case, said: “My thoughts are with Mr Bedford’s family who have lived through this nightmare and continue to live with this devastating tragedy.

“Derbyshire’s remorse and admission will not bring back Mr Bedford or take away the trauma, pain and suffering caused to his family.

“This was a clear-cut case where Derbyshire approached his victim from behind with absolutely no provocation and delivered what turned out to be a fatal blow.

“He was violent, calculated and reckless and as a result now faces a much-deserved jail sentence.”

DCI Stopford said the case highlighted the need for people to seriously think about the ‘severe and life-changing’ consequences of violent behaviour.

“On that night, Derbyshire threw a punch thinking that his victim would be hurt but would get up and walk out of the bar,” added DCI Stopford.

“He thought that it would just make him look like a big man but instead he has killed an innocent man.

“This is not the only case where a single punch has led to someone’s death and I want to reiterate the fact that with any form of violent behaviour, even a single punch, you run the risk of severe consequences.

“You risk taking a life, you risk time behind bars and you risk changing an innocent family’s life forever.”

Mr Bedford, known as Beddy, was chairman of North Gawber Colliery FC when he was killed.

He was also a Barnsley FC supporter and a familiar face on the Oakwell terraces. A one-minute round of applause in memory of Mr Bedford was held when Barnsley played York City in the days after his death.