Attacker jailed for one-punch killing of man with 'heart of gold'

Sonny Hazell, 25, has been sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty of manslaughter.

Sonny Hazell, 25, has been sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty of manslaughter. - Credit: Essex Police

A man has been jailed for three years over causing the death of Maldon man Daryl Bunn from a single punch.

Chelmsford Crown Court had previously heard how Mr Bunn and his friend became involved in an altercation with a group of people outside the Iceland store at around 8.50pm on June, 29,  2019.

The friends had met earlier to discuss their best man speeches for a forthcoming wedding.

Daryl Bunn died following the fight outside the Iceland store in Maldon High Street Picture: ESSEX POLICE

Daryl Bunn died following the fight outside the Iceland store in Maldon High Street Picture: ESSEX POLICE - Credit: ESSEX POLICE

During the incident, Mr Bunn was punched once - causing him to fall backwards.

He hit his head on the ground and a forensic post-mortem examination found he had suffered a traumatic brain injury.

His friend suffered a broken jaw.

Mr Bunn, from Maldon, was flown to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge but died as a result of his injuries.

Most Read

In November last year, Sonny Hazell, 25, of Kings Road, Southminster, was found guilty of manslaughter by jury at Chelmsford Crown Court.

He has now been jailed for three years over Mr Bunn's death.

He was also charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent but was later acquitted.

In a statement, Mr Bunn's family - who described him as having a "heart of gold" - said: “Three years will never be enough in our eyes for our Daryl, but justice has been done and that was what we promised him and now we can finally grieve.

“We would like to thank Essex Police, not just for all the hard work on the investigation but also for all the support they have given us, Hannah and our extended family.

“We would also like to thank the jury for coming to the right decision.

“Finally we would like to thank our family and friends for their continued support and love throughout this horrific time.”

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Lee Morton, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “This is a tragic case where Daryl Bunn lost his life because of the reckless actions of Sonny Hazell.

“Hazell will have had time to contemplate how catastrophic the events of that night were.

“The jury found him guilty of manslaughter, despite him pleading not guilty to his actions on the night, and this brings an end to this trial for him.

“However, this is the beginning of a future without Daryl for his fiancé, family and friends.

“They have remained dignified throughout this incredibly difficult time and I want to thank them for their support throughout our investigation and the court case.”

Another man, Jordan Hooper, 24, of Princes Avenue, Southminster, was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent in connection with the assault.

He denied the charge and stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, where he was acquitted of causing grievous bodily harm in relation to Mr Bunn’s friend.

A third man arrested – a then 23-year-old man from Maldon – was arrested but released without charge.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter