An inmate seen celebrating after delivering a fatal punch to a fellow prisoner has been jailed for just four years.
Keiron Simpson, aged 26, bragged to other prisoners at HMP Doncaster about his ‘one-punch knockout’ of father-of-one Robert Bryan after delivering the fatal blow in an ‘entirely unprovoked attack’.
Simpson – who has convictions for more than 120 offences – also reenacted the punch as he boasted about the assault before he knew 43-year-old Bryan had died from his injuries.
He was sentenced to four years in jail – half of which will be served in prison with the rest out on licence – at Sheffield Crown Court after pleading guilty to manslaughter at an earlier hearing.
Simpson had walked up behind Bryan while he was chatting with other inmates and punched him once to the face, immediately knocking him unconscious.
Bryan fractured his skull and suffered injuries to his brain in the fall and died in hospital just hours after the attack.
Simon Waley, prosecuting, said when later questioned about why he had carried out the attack, Simpson said it was because he considered Bryan was a ‘dirty wrong ‘un’.
Simpson, formerly of Smithywood Lane, Dodworth, Barnsley, was in HMP Doncaster for offences of burglary, shoplifting and possession of Class A drugs when the incident occurred on February 27 this year.
The court heard that in April 2014 he had previously been jailed for 26 weeks for assault causing actual bodily harm after knocking a man unconscious in Barnsley town centre by punching and kicking the victim.
Simpson’s record of offending began when he was just 10 years old and prior to yesterday’s sentencing, he had 48 convictions for 121 offences.
Bryan, formerly from Hollybush Street, Parkgate, Rotherham, was in jail himself for manslaughter and was only due to be released when no longer considered a threat to the public.
A victim impact statement from his former partner was read out in court and said Bryan’s seven-year-old daughter had been deeply affected by her father’s killing.
Sean Fritchley, defending Simpson, said the attack had been caused by a ‘prison-yard slight’ and his client had not meant to kill Bryan.
He said: “He knows custody is inevitable. It was a single blow and he has to live with that now for the rest of his life.
“He knows it had a tragic impact on the victim’s family and daughter. If he could turn back the clock, he would.”
Judge Julian Goose, Honorary Recorder of Sheffield, told Simpson: “You walked up to the deceased and in an entirely unprovoked act, punched him to the right side of the head. It was a severe blow that caused the deceased to fall to the floor.
“He suffered a fractured skull and brain injury from which he later died.
“Afterwards you celebrated what you did and bragged to other inmates. You were seen to reenact the punch, demonstrating what you had done.
“Although you didn’t appreciate what you had done, it underlines the severity of what you did and your pride in what you did.
“While you believed that he would not die, it is clear that by our actions, you have ended his life.”
Judge Goose said Simpson would have got a six-year-sentence for the killing but this was reduced because of his early guilty plea.