Scarborough man jailed for manslaughter of Hull man Peter Houghton

Scott Antony Connell, 35, of The Crescent, pleaded guilty to manslaughter of Peter after headbutting him in the street, which resulted in a fatal head injury when he hit the pavement.

On the night of Saturday 17 September 2022, Peter had been in Scarborough celebrating his upcoming 60th birthday with friends.

As Peter and a friend walked along Newborough towards the city center at around 9pm, they witnessed a verbal altercation between Connell and another man.

Peter tried to dispel this and was hit in the head by Connell.

The force of the blow caused Peter to fall to the ground and hit his head.

He was taken to hospital by emergency services. Despite the efforts of the medical team, Peter tragically died from his injuries the following day.

Scott Connell fled the scene immediately after the attack. He went home and changed his clothes.

He then returned to the scene of the attack before leaving again when he saw a police cordon where he had attacked Peter.

Connell handed himself in at Scarborough police station the following day after seeing the public appeal on social media.

In his second police interview he finally admitted to headbutting Peter.

He was later charged with involuntary manslaughter and pleaded guilty on Monday, July 17, 2023.

Connell was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court today (Tuesday 12 September 2023).

Detective Superintendent Fran Naughton of North Yorkshire Police, the lead investigating officer, said: “Connell’s reaction when spoken to about his behavior on the street led to the tragic death of a much-loved family man.”

“Our thoughts remain with Peter’s family and friends and we hope that the outcome in court provides some sort of closure for them after a very distressing and traumatic time in their lives.

“No verdict can bring Peter back, but we hope this case sends a clear message and a warning to others about the potential and devastating consequences that just one punch or blow can cause.”

Devastating effects on Peter’s family: “My happiness is destroyed”…

Devoted father Peter (pictured in the T-shirt) leaves behind his wife Lindsey, children Gareth, Carla and Amy and five grandchildren.

In the family victim’s personal statement read out in court, Ms Houghton said she had lost half of herself: “I miss him very much, my happiness has been destroyed.”

Amy said: “Our lives are not the same” and Gareth said Connell “took away my best friend, my dad”.

Before the verdict was announced, Carla read her victim’s personal statement to the court:

“Every death brings a different pain, but this is one I cannot understand.

“This was the hardest year of our lives. I have watched my entire family fall apart spiritually and I have never felt pain so intense.

“The feeling that always completed me was seeing my mother and father together, even if I never saw them often.

“Now all I see is my mother standing alone, without her soulmate.

“My father was an honorable man. Hard-working, strong-willed, and he remained intact.

“He taught me everything I know today. I miss his presence! And my daughter still longs for her grandfather.

“I hope that in time my heart will forgive. The wounds are still fresh, but time is a great healer.

“I hope that there is deep remorse for the crime committed.

“I’ll never forget you, Dad.”

“Punched Out Cold” campaign…

North Yorkshire Police are currently working with the charity One Punch UK to prevent tragic deaths and life-changing injuries caused by punches or head impacts in this tragic case.

The campaign initially targeted men aged 18 to 35 in pubs, bars, gyms and sports clubs during the summer holidays and will be repeated throughout the holidays.

In September, coinciding with One Punch Awareness Week from September 18th to 22nd, the focus is on secondary school children.

You can read more about it here:

Detective Chief Inspector Jonathan Sygrove, of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Investigation Team, said: “We are proud that North Yorkshire Police is supporting the Punched Out Cold campaign, which highlights how dangerous a punch or violent act such as a headbutt can be can .

“That someone can become a murderer in a split second and that someone can be killed or suffer life-changing injuries.”

“If you are faced with a potentially violent confrontation, we fully agree with One Punch UK’s advice: ‘Stop, think and walk away’.

“If you don’t act out of anger and lash out, it could very well be the best decision you’ve ever made – for everyone involved.

“Please remember that just one blow or act of violence can destroy so many lives. Including your own.”

For more information visit One Punch UK: Scarborough man jailed for manslaughter of Hull man Peter Houghton

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