"But it was the first blow that was the critical one."
Hamaad Sultan, aged 21, of Sunbridge Road, Bradford was sentenced to four years in prison at Bradford Crown Court for killing a man with one punch.
Sultan punched Joseph Mate, aged 35, outside Summer Berry Residences on Sunbridge Road on January 31, 2018.
The Court heard that while leaving the block of flats, Mr. Mate had allegedly used a racial slur towards Sultan, who was by reception talking to friends.
Sultan, a former security guard and resident at the flats followed Mr. Mate outside.
He then shouted: “Oi, do you remember me?”
As Mr. Mate turned round, Sultan delivered a punch to his head, knocking him unconscious and causing him to fall down a flight of concrete steps.
The victim hit his head against the concrete floor, causing serious skull and brain injuries.
He died at Leeds General Infirmary on February 4, 2018.
The prosecutor, Christopher Smith, described that there had been ongoing insults between the two when Sultan worked as a security guard.
According to Mr. Smith, Sultan told police that it was a punch in anger and he did not intend to use so much force.
He said: “Sultan approached and struck him with two blows.”
“The first a right hook which knocked him unconscious, and the second was delivered as he was falling.”
“But it was the first blow that was the critical one.”
“Joseph was unable to break his fall and his head struck the steps.”
The Court heard that Sultan went back outside to look at the victim, before going back inside.
He then left the scene at the suggestion of someone else.
When he found out that police were looking for him, Sultan handed himself into police and admitted his actions on February 1, 2018.
He was charged with manslaughter on the same day.
Khadim Al Hassan, mitigating, said:
“The consequences of Sultan’s actions that day will live forever with the deceased’s family and with him.”
“He was genuinely sorry for his actions and handed himself into police, and has to live with this for the rest of his life.”
CCTV footage of the incident was shown in Court and watched by members of Mr. Mate’s family.
Victim impact statements by Mr. Mate’s family were read by Mr. Smith.
His 10-year-old son said his father “was his hero” and they used to play football together, but now he “has not much more than memories and photos.”
The three days by the victim’s hospital bed leading up to his death was “torture” for his mother, Rosemary Mate-Hawksby.
Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, passing sentence said:
“This tragedy arose because of the interaction between two good people.”
“Joseph Mate was a good man, and Sultan has good character and no previous convictions.”
“Yet this is a case of one man punching another with the result of a fall and heavy impact on the ground.”
“This occurred because of your loss of temper.”
“You could not have chosen a worse blow or location at the top of a flight of concrete steps.”
“You intended that blow to a defenceless man to have consequences.”
“We have heard unspeakable sorrow from Joseph’s family, and he leaves a son who worshipped his father.”
“You will live with this for the rest of your life, but at least you have a life.”
“This wanton taking of a life is not to be understated.”
Mr. Mate’s Family Statement
Following the hearing, the victim’s family issued a statement.
It said: “The Mate family would like the whole world to know that no amount of apology will ever erase the pain we are feeling.”
“Worse still, the pain we have felt since January 31 when Sultan attacked Joseph. The attack was unprovoked, Hamaad killed Joseph.”
“Hamaad will serve a four-year sentence. He will come out and continue to live his life after prison, what about our Joseph?”
“He is gone for good!”
“To us as a family, we are serving a life sentence since January 31.”
“Up until now, we have not been given any logical reason why Joseph was attacked and had to die in such a painful way.”
“Reasonable adults resolve their issues amicably, they do not ambush and kill.”
“Hamaad can say what he wants but only he knows in his heart what happened on January 31.”