'One punch' killer who took 'gentle giant's' life 'in an instant' in pub attack

Thomas Brand (pictured) killed his friend Anthony Richardson with a single punch then tried to convince police his injuries were caused by a fit

Thomas Brand (pictured) killed his friend Anthony Richardson with a single punch then tried to convince police his injuries were caused by a fit 

A thug who killed his 'gentle' friend with one punch in a row outside a pub has been jailed for six years after he lied to police that his victim died from a fit.  

Thomas Brand was found guilty of manslaughter after attacking 46-year-old Anthony Richardson.

Brand, 45, floored Mr Richardson outside The Chesterfield in Elswick, Newcastle, after an all-day boozing session on February 7 this year.

Mr Richardson had already been knocked out by Brand's friend, Nathan Aldus, inside the pub earlier on.

Minutes later, CCTV footage captured Mr Richardson rowing with Brand over railings outside the pub before squaring up head to head.

Brand swings his fist and sent Mr Richardson crashing to the floor, banging his head on the ground and suffering fatal injuries.

The killer was unanimously found guilty of manslaughter by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

Aldus, 28, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The killer showed no emotion as he was locked up for six years by Mr Justice Morris on Wednesday.

Mr Richardson's family asked for footage of the attack to be shown in a bid to warn others of the devastating consequences throwing even a single punch can have. 

Pictured: Chilling CCTV footage shows Brand punch Mr Richardson in an assault that ended the life of his 'gentle' friend

Pictured: Chilling CCTV footage shows Brand punch Mr Richardson in an assault that ended the life of his 'gentle' friend

Brand stands over his victim after punching him to the floor. He would later tell police that Mr Richardson had suffered a fit outside the pub

Brand stands over his victim after punching him to the floor. He would later tell police that Mr Richardson had suffered a fit outside the pub

Det Insp Joanne Brooks, who led the investigation for Northumbria Police, said: 'Everyone's life changes at that point. That decision to go towards that fight resulted in a death, a devastated family and Brand going to jail.

'If he [Brand] had taken a moment to stop, think and walk away from a situation like that Anthony's family wouldn't of had to deal with the devastating consequences.

'We can see from the CCTV that Thomas Brand had the time to think about it and he choses to walk towards it.

Mr Richardson (pictured) died after one punch outside a pub in Newcastle having already been knocked out earlier that day

Mr Richardson (pictured) died after one punch outside a pub in Newcastle having already been knocked out earlier that day

'But everyone's life changed as a result of that devastating decision. He's ruined his life as well.'

The court heard how Mr Richardson had been out drinking in the city centre with Brand in the hours before he was killed.

The pair, who had both been living at he Ozanam House hostel in Elswick, were at Pumphrey's Bar in the Cloth Market. At around 4.30pm Brand received a text from Aldus asking him to call him.

He left Pumphrey's alone and went to meet Aldus at the Butlers bar. Mr Richardson and another friend took a taxi to The Chesterfield where they were later joined by Brand, Aldus, and others.

The court hear how CCTV showed Brand going up to Mr Richardson and hugging him.

But then witnesses say Aldus and Mr Richardson started an argument, during which Aldus punched him and knocked him out before leaving the pub.

Aldus, 28, of Shelley Avenue, South Shields, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was sentenced to 27 weeks in prison.

After that assault, Brand went to Mr Richardson's aid and helped him up. The court

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