Fatal punch ‘unlucky’ says ex-boxer

Thomas Gower - killed in attack outside Alibi bar in sheffield city centre on December 18, 2010
Thomas Gower - killed in attack outside Alibi bar in sheffield city centre on December 18, 2010
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A FORMER boxer who punched two men outside a Sheffield bar said it was ‘unlucky’ that one of them died and the other was knocked out.

Bradley Hinkler, aged 20, is standing trial for the murder of 26-year-old Thomas Gower and causing grievous body harm to his friend Richard Howard.

The prosecution says he was a skilled former amateur boxer who knew exactly what he was doing when he lashed out at the two men outside the Alibi bar on Trippet Lane last December.

But Hinkler - who denies the charges and claims he was acting in self-defence - said he was surprised when both men were knocked unconscious.

Describing the attack on Mr Gower, he told Sheffield Crown Court: “I didn’t intend to knock him out. It was just unlucky.”

He said he thought the two men were each knocked unconscious when they hit their heads on the ground.

Hinkler, of Kilvington Road, Woodthorpe, told the jury he had fought around 40 bouts as an amateur boxer between the ages of 11 and 18.

In that time, when he trained at Steel City Gym at Heeley, he said he never delivered a single knock-out blow.

Hinkler, who boxed in the lightweight classes, weighing around eight stone, said he gave up the sport because he ‘wasn’t going anywhere’.

He said he punched Mr Howard, knocking him unconscious, because he was afraid of being hit with a bottle.

He then chased Mr Gower, claiming the father-of-two from Gleadless Valley had threatened to fetch a knife.

When he hit him Mr Gower fell to the ground, smashing his head into the pavement. He died eight days later.

The hearing continues.