A man has been jailed for killing a Llangefni father-of-two with a single punch.
Kieran Roberts was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison for an unprovoked attack on Esinkumo Ayabowei at Peep in Bangor in April. The 26 year-old from Bangor had denied murder but admitted manslaughter.
The judge at Caernarfon Crown Court told Roberts that he had gone out ”looking for trouble” when Mr Ayabowei had gone out for a good time.
His victim was punched in the head with a forceful blow without ”any apparent warning” and never regained consciousness – he died the following day at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.
Prosecutors told the court that Roberts had allegedly claimed he wanted to ”bang somebody out” on the night of the attack. He had already served a jail sentence for firearms offences, but was released in 2015, after serving just two years of a five-year sentence.
In a victim impact statement, Mr Ayabowei’s widow Melicia Gerrard described him as an ”exceptional person of impeccable character who always placed the thoughts and welfare of others first.” She said his death could have been avoided and she had been robbed of the ”love of her life”.
As a footballer, Mr Ayabowei, known as Romeo and Henry, played for several Anglesey clubs, including Llanfairpwll FC. A crowdfunding page set up to support his family raised over £12,600.
Sentencing Roberts, Judge Paul Thomas said he had tried to ”cultivate a hard-man image” and demonstrate his punching power. His actions had left friends, relatives and football teammates bereft and that he still posed a very high risk of serious injury in the future.
Roberts showed no emotion as he was led down from the dock to begin his sentence. He will serve another five years on licence.
In a statement released via North Wales Police, Melicia Gerrard said: ”Whilst Kieran Roberts begins his brief term behind bars my family and I are continuing to live our lives without Henry. For us there will never be a release from this pain and suffering. My world as I knew it has crumbled around me. Our lives have been permanently scarred by this sickening act, an act which is incomprehensible to those in society who understand and appreciate the most decent of values.”
”I am determined to be strong for our daughters. We as a family have been comforted by the countless tributes paid to Henry by the local community. These bear testament to the great person that Henry was…Henry was a very special person, a great character who was full of life with high hopes for the future. He touched many people from many walks of life and will be greatly missed by his family, friends and all those who had the pleasure of meeting him. The world truly is a lesser place without him.”
DCI Brian Kearney, who led the police investigation, condemned Roberts as ”a vile, vicious…and dangerous thug” who had carried out a ”truly wicked and totally unprovoked crime” which sickened a community. He added: ”He is without doubt a dangerous individual and many in the local community we be reassured by his imprisonment. North Wales is a safer place without him.”