A KILLER has been jailed for six years after his single punch attack led to the death of a man in Bournemouth.

Carl Stuart Woolley struck 59-year-old Stephen Jeffries with a “forceful jab” at the entrance to the Avenue Road car park late on September 13, 2020.

Mr Jeffries, who lived locally, suffered a “serious and traumatic head injury” due to fall after the punch. He died in hospital two days later.

Woolley, 33 and of no fixed abode, handed himself in to police at the scene of the assault the day after it took place.

He was charged with murder, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which was accepted by the prosecution.

Judge Brian Forster QC jailed Woolley, who wore a grey tracksuit in the dock at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday, February 26, for six years.

During the hearing, prosecutor Rob Welling said Mr Jeffries had been drinking on the day of the incident and at around 9.45pm he was verbally abusive towards members of the public at The Triangle.

His remarks, which included homophobic and xenophobic comments, led to a reaction from some people present, including Woolley who was sitting nearby.

He told Mr Jeffries to shut up or he would hurt him and at this point Mr Jeffries walked away towards the car park.

Mr Welling said the defendant "had a choice" and could have left the matter there, but he decided to follow Mr Jeffries.

CCTV from the car park entrance was played in court and showed the two men walking along the pavement a short distance apart before the attack.

The prosecutor said a witness who was entering the car park in a vehicle at the time of the assault said "the punch was a really hard whack" and Mr Jeffries "went down like a plank".

Two women, who had earlier been subject to verbal abuse from Mr Jeffries, came to his aid before an ambulance arrived and took him to hospital. He died on Tuesday, September 15.

Mr Welling read statements from members of Mr Jeffries's family, which included from his sister and daughter.

His sister said he was a "good man, he had his faults but no one is perfect", while his daughter, who had not spoken to him for some time, said she felt "heartbroken" after being told about what had happened by police.

Family members travelled down to Dorset from Lancashire to see Mr Jeffries in hospital before his death.

Mitigating, Kevin Hill says the report of a pathologist found there was no evidence of bruising or a fracture to Mr Jeffries's face and it was the impact of hitting the ground which caused the fatal injuries.

The barrister said his client had a history in the criminal courts and had a "somewhat difficult personal history".

Woolley cooperated throughout the process with police and it was not a premeditated attack, Mr Hill said.

In passing sentence, Judge Forster QC said the punch probably connected with the side of Mr Jeffries's head.

"It is clear he cannot be replaced within his family," said the judge. "It is difficult for them to live without him. His daughter speaks of living through a nightmare."

He added: "No sentence can compensate for the loss of a loved one, particularly from the point of view of the family."

The judge said the case "graphically" illustrated the damage a single kick or punch can do.

"This case should be a warning to others to the dangers of using unlawful violence," the judge added.