Sheffield dad of one-punch killer avoids jail

Luke Smedley and Nigel Hinkler who are trying to put on an unlicenced boxing event on to raise appeal funds
Luke Smedley and Nigel Hinkler who are trying to put on an unlicenced boxing event on to raise appeal funds
Have your say

A DAD whose boxer son was jailed for a one-punch murder has walked free from court after he hit a man and left him badly injured.

Nigel Hinkler’s son Bradley, aged 20, was jailed for life after he delivered a fatal right hook to the side of Thomas Gower’s face outside Alibi bar in Sheffield city centre in December 2010.

Mr Gower, a father of two, died as the result of his injuries.

Hinkler senior, aged 54, was given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years on Friday after a court heard he punched 26-year-old Bernie Ward in the back of the head after a row over drugs outside a pub.

Mr Ward, who was knocked out by the blow, suffered a fractured jaw, bleeding on the brain and extreme bruising to his left eye and had to undergo surgery to reposition his jaw after the attack.

Louise Gallagher, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court, said Hinkler and Mr Ward had been drinking in the Hen and Chickens pub in Sheffield city centre on the day of the incident.

She said: “The defendant had agreed to purchase cocaine from the complainant. The pair went to make the transaction but the defendant received no drugs and he was then assaulted by the complainant with a punch to the face.

“When trouble broke out outside the bar later, the defendant went out, drew a fist back and punched the complainant to the right side of the face from behind.

“Mr Ward was unconscious straight away. He fell motionless to the ground and his shoulder hit the pavement.

“The defendant did nothing more than that. He went back into the pub and then made his way home.”

The court heard Hinkler, of Park Grange Road, Norfolk Park, Sheffield, thought Mr Ward was dead when he was arrested later that day.

Ms Gallagher said: “He was under the impression he had killed the man and was very grateful he had not. He was remorseful, he said he just took the chance and hit him.”

The incident took place a year after Bradley Hinkler was jailed for life for the attack on Mr Gower.

After his son was convicted, Hinkler senior rallied support from friends and relatives to fund his son’s appeal, which failed when it went to London’s High Court in April.

Sentencing Hinkler, Judge Roger Keen QC said: “This was a cowardly, vicious blow from behind which had dramatic effects on your victim.

“Fortunately he recovered from the injuries. You know what will happen if you commit any further offences.”