Men jailed over death of man punched and attacked with golf club in Sheffield street

Two men have been jailed over an attack which led to the death of a man in a Sheffield street.

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 11:51 am

Paul Crossley, aged 53, was punched and attacked with a golf club in Longley last year.

Sean Holt, 45, of Longley Hall Way, Longley and Richard Ferrie, 46, of Moncrieffe Road, Nether Edge, were originally charged with murder but during their trial Holt admitted manslaughter and Ferrie pleaded guilty to affray.

Holt was jailed for six years and Ferrie was sentenced to 18 months behind bars.

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L-R: Sean Holt and Richard Ferrie

The pair attacked Paul Crossley and his friend Steven Newton in Longley Hall Road on the evening of Friday, May 15, 2020, following a dispute earlier that night.

After the initial dispute, which Mr Crossley and Mr Newton walked away from, Holt and Ferrie armed themselves with golf clubs and followed the men, locating them on Longley Hall Road at around 9.45pm.

When Mr Crossley tried to placate the pair, he was punched by Holt to the face and knocked to the ground. Meanwhile, Ferrie attacked Mr Newton with a golf club, then punched him in the face as he lay on the ground.

The defendants then fled left the scene and made their way back to Holt’s flat.

Paul Crossley

Ferrie was seen to discard his top along the way, which was later found by officers in a bin on Longley Hall Road and blood samples matched DNA taken from the scene.

Mr Crossley suffered a serious bleed on the brain during the attack and was taken to hospital but fell into a coma and died four days later.

Detective Chief Inspector James Axe, from South Yorkshire Police’s Major Crime Unit, said: “During the attack, one of the blows caused Mr Crossley to fall backwards and hit his head on the road.

“He suffered a fractured skull, which led to un-survivable brain damage and he tragically later died. Mr Crossley also suffered a fractured eye socket, a fractured jaw and damage to his larynx during the attack.”

Holt was jailed on the basis that he led the attack, admitting that a single punch had led to Mr Crossley’s death, while Ferrie assisted him during the incident.

DCI Axe added: “This sentence has been welcomed by the force as a deterrent to those who feel violence is acceptable on our streets.

“A man has tragically lost his life in awful circumstances caused by a single punch. No violence is acceptable and we will continue to pro-actively work to stop incidents like these which show how fragile human life can be.

“We hope this outcome brings some feeling of justice to the family of Mr Crossley, however we understand that nothing can be done to repair the hole this will have left in their lives.”

During the opening of the case, Simon Kealey QC, prosecuting, said: “Paul Crossley was unlawfully assaulted by the defendants and at no time did he offer violence towards them.”

It was claimed that when Mr Crossley and Mr Newton initially crossed paths with Holt and Ferrie, Mr Newton allegedly allegedly struck Holt with hammer or a table leg.

Mr Kealey claimed Holt and Ferrie later armed themselves with a golf club to exact revenge.

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