THE four-year sentence of one-punch killer Lewis Gill has been referred to the Court of Appeal - after the case was highlighted by the Daily Echo.
Gill, 20, who was jailed for four years for the manslaughter of Andrew Young, will have his sentence reviewed by the Court of Appeal after around 300 complaints were made to Attorney General Dominic Grieve, asking him to examine the jail term.
Andrew's mother, Pamela, who branded the original sentence “a joke”, said she was “relieved” by the Attorney General's decision.
“I am hoping that the sentence will be extended so that somebody will have a chance to get through to him (Gill), appeal to his heart and mind, and show him the error of his ways”, she said.
Warning: this CCTV footage contains graphic scenes of a violent incident
A spokesperson for the Attorney General's office said: "Having carefully reviewed this case, the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC MP, has decided to refer the sentence of Lewis Gill to the Court of Appeal for review.
“The case will in due course be heard by three Court of Appeal judges who will decide whether or not the sentence is unduly lenient and whether they should increase the sentence.”
Bournemouth East MP, Tobias Ellwood, who expressed concerns at the time, described the decision as “very positive”.
“It is quite right that this should be reviewed and I am very pleased that common sense has prevailed”, he said.
Gill pleaded guilty to manslaughter on January 24 and was sentenced to 4 years' imprisonment for the offence on February 21.
He lashed out at Asperger's sufferer Andrew Young in November last year after the 40-year-old made a racist remark to an acquaintance.
Mr Young had exchanged words with Victor Ibitoye, who had been riding a pedal cycle on the pavement in Charminster Road, before he said: “Why don't you go back to the jungle?”
Overhearing, Gill swung a punch at the victim, who collapsed onto the road behind him.
He died the following day, November 7, at Southampton General Hospital following an operation.
Mr Young is the fourth person to die in Bournemouth in just 13 years from a single blow, with the killers responsible for each death sentenced to four years or less for the offence.
The Daily Echo's 'Killer punch' front page sparked widespread national and international media coverage.
Highlighting the campaign, One Punch Can Kill, the story was picked up by national newspapers as well as television and radio programmes, leading to calls for Gill's sentence to be investigated.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling called it a “repugnant crime” while Victims' Commissioner Baroness Newlove also expressed her sympathy with Mr Young's family and friends and said: “I'm appalled by this disgraceful act of violence.”
Two days after our story broke, the Attorney General vowed to review the sentence following a barrage of complaints.