FAMILY and friends of an amateur boxer facing life in jail for murdering a Sheffield dad with a single punch gathered in the city to protest against his conviction.
About 100 protesters waved banners and chanted outside Sheffield Crown Court, where 20-year-old Bradley Hinkler was last week convicted of murdering Thomas Gower, 26, from Gleadless.
The supporters protested for more than an hour outside the court building before walking through the city.
Hinkler admitted landing a fatal punch on Thomas outside the Alibi bar, at the junction of Trippet Lane and Holly Street, last December, but denied murder, claiming self-defence.
Jurors took four-and-a-half hours to reach a unanimous verdict of murder, as well as grievous bodily harm on Thomas’ friend Richard Howard.
Slogans written on the banners included ‘Sheffield justice is unfair’ and ‘Where’s the justice for Brad?’
Bradley’s aunt Michelle Pask, 34, from Norfolk Park, said she believed the verdict was ‘appalling’ and her nephew should have been convicted of manslaughter.
“Bradley and all his family and friends are deeply sorry that Thomas Gower lost his life in this way, but we need to show the public that Bradley is not the person tarnished by the prosecution and that this is such an unjustified verdict,” she said.
“At the very most, the charge should have been manslaughter.”
Michelle added: “Bradley boxed as a boy to keep him off the streets and away from gangs and crime.
“He’s not trained to kill, this was simply a pub brawl. Many people do not agree with this verdict.
“Although we’re very sorry for the family and friends who lost Thomas Gower, we cannot stand by and let a young man who is kind, polite and full of goodness be locked behind bars for something which is not an act of murder.”
One protester held a banner referring to the case of Luke Jolly, aged 24, the boxer who was jailed for four years and nine months last week for killing cyclist Ray Eden, 42, in March in Doncaster.
Jolly, who also killed his victim with a single punch, had admitted manslaughter.
Hinkler, of Kilvington Road, Woodthorpe, will be sentenced next week.