Man jailed by Sheffield court for killing grandpa Graham Linstead with unprovoked attack

A man has today been jailed by a Sheffield court for six years after punching, and killing, 60-year-old Graham Linstead last month.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 5:11 pm

Ricky Braithwaite, formerly of Newton Street, Barnsley admitted manslaughter at an earlier hearing on October 5.

And the 38-year-old was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court today.

The court was told that the attack happened as dad-of-one Mr Linstead made his way home from a night out with his partner in Barnsley town centre on Saturday, September 4. Braithwaite had also been out drinking that same night, with a separate group of people.

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Ricky Braitwaite, left, and Graham Linstead, right. Braithwaite has been jailed for six years for Mr Linstead's manslaughter

He was also under the influence of drugs, heard the court.

Ricky Braithwaite launched unprovoked attack

The court was told that as the couple were walking along Pitt Street West, Braithwaite ran up behind Mr Linstead and launched his unprovoked attack.

CCTV captured the defendant punching Mr Linstead twice, causing him to fall backwards and to hit his head on the ground.

Ricky Braitwaite, has been jailed for six years for Graham Linstead's manslaughter

Rushed from Barnsley to Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital

Emergency services were called to the scene at 10.33pm and Mr Linstead was rushed by ambulance to Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital. There, he was put on a life support machine. But he died four days later on Thursday September 8.

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Braithwaite was arrested shortly after the attack and first charged with assault before the charges were upgraded to manslaughter following Mr Linstead’s death.

Graham Linstead. Ricky Braithwaite has been jailed for six years for Mr Linstead's manslaughter

Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Oughton said after the sentence was passed today: “This case is a clear example of how throwing a couple of drunken punches can destroy lives. This assault was captured on CCTV; it lasts for no longer than ten seconds. In mere seconds, Braithwaite caused one man’s death, destroyed his own life and left two families in tatters.”

Mr Linstead’s family, who have worked closely with detectives throughout the investigation, have said they want something to come from Mr Linstead’s death.

Addressing the court today, his daughter Charlotte said: “My dad was a very loving man and would help and support anyone who asked him for anything. He liked to love and to be loved, and a sense of belonging meant everything to him. He was my best friend, my gig buddy, and a grandad to my young daughter.

“There has to be something good that comes from this. There has to be a change in mindset and violence and how people conduct their lives.”

Judge Peter Kelson QC remarked that no jail term imposed upon Braithwaite could ever bring Mr Linstead back, but Mr Linstead’s family had been subjected to a life sentence due to his actions that night.

Det Ch Insp Oughton added: “This is an incredibly tragic set of circumstances and my thoughts are firmly with Graham’s family today – I cannot imagine the pain they are experiencing and I am grateful to them for working so closely with us over this past few weeks.

“Alcohol-fuelled violence can have fatal consequences. Before you throw that punch, ask yourself, is it worth it? As the judge said, violence does not solve anything and can impact on so many people.”

READ MORE: Man who died after Barnsley town centre attack was 'true gentleman' with the 'biggest heart'

Local journalism holds the powerful to account and gives people a voice. Please take out a digital subscription or buy a paper. Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor