A MAN has been found guilty of attacking tragic teenager Haydn Evans on the night he drowned at a Chester hotel.
West Cheshire Magistrates Court heard how Adam Crutchley, of Coppice Avenue, Sale, Greater Manchester, had knocked Mr Evans, from Mold, to the ground and repeatedly kicked him in the head during a Christmas party at Carden Park Hotel on December 16, 2011.
Mr Evans, 18, drowned in the lake at the luxury hotel, where he was celebrating a works party, after being ejected after the incident.
The court heard how Crutchley, 22, had become angered at Mr Evans, who had been drinking heavily, and when he grabbed his girlfriend, he knocked him to the floor before kicking his head ‘like a football’.
Following a three day trial earlier in January, District Judge Nicholas Sanders stated there was no injury sustained by Evans as a result of the assault and that it had no bearing on the events that followed.
He said: “There is nothing to suggest the assault had any bearing on the tragic events that followed where Mr Evans lost his life. There was no injury sustained as a result of the incident.
“It is clear you did not cause his demise.”
An inquest into his death at Warrington Coroner’s Court in December 2012 revealed that Mr Evans, who worked with his father for MPH Construction, was drinking when he became involved in the incident with Crutchley, who had also been drinking.
Crutchley, who works for a marketing firm and is also studying for a degree at Manchester University, pleaded not guilty to the assault when he appeared before court on July 26, last year.
Stuart Page, defending, said: “This has really been a lightbulb moment for him (Crutchley).
“Having spoken to family members, he has become withdrawn and doesn’t go out anywhere anymore, except maybe to play cards with his friends. He no longer drinks and has been given increased responsibilty by his employers, who hold him in high regard. He has taken on board this opportunity and has done so successfully.
“He’s also shown great remorse for his part in the incident.”
Sentencing Crutchley to a 20 week suspended custodial sentence, 200 hours of unpaid work and £930 costs, Judge Sanders reiterated the assault had not played any part in the death of Mr Evans, who was missing for two weeks before his body was found.
He said: “I would say there was an element of provocation in this incident due to the actions taken against your girlfirend but your reaction was completely over the top.”