Six years for thug who punched pop­u­lar dad

Bangor Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Eryl Crump

A “VILE, vi­cious thug” who killed a fa­ther of two with a sin­gle punch has been locked-up for six years and nine months.

Kieron Ter­ence Roberts, 26, at­tacked Esinkumo Ayabowei dur­ing the early hours of Satur­day, April 1, out­side Peep night­club in Bangor.

He punched Nige­rian-born Mr Ayabowei – known as Henry and Romeo to friends – in the face, frac­tur­ing his jaw and caus­ing him to fall and hit the ground with such force his skull was frac­tured.

The 27-year-old later died in hospi­tal and Caernar­fon Crown Court heard how the killing had left his widow Meli­cia Ger­rard “in ru­ins”.

Charged with mur­der, Roberts, of Pen­rhyn Av­enue, Bangor, pleaded guilty to man­slaugh­ter at a hear­ing last month and the plea was ac­cepted by the pros­e­cu­tion.

Judge Paul Thomas QC, who also sen­tenced him to an ex­tended li­cence pe­riod of five years, said he could pass no sen­tence that would be­gin to com­pen­sate for the “aw­ful tragedy he (Roberts) brought about”.

The judge said that, while Mr Ayabowei went out that evening for a good time with friends, Roberts went out “look­ing for trou­ble”.

He con­cluded that Roberts posed a very high risk of caus­ing se­ri­ous in­jury to oth­ers in fu­ture.

El­wen Evans QC, de­fend­ing, re­peated her con­cerns that a pre-sen­tence re­port was pre­pared us­ing ma­te­rial not dis­closed to the defence.

She ar­gued the test for how dan­ger­ous her client was had not been met and asked the judge to look at the case in a “fair and ob­jec­tive man­ner”.

Roberts threw a sin­gle punch and did not fol­low up with fur­ther acts of vi­o­lence, Ms Evans said. She added Roberts was drunk but had not been con­fronta­tional while at other pubs ear­lier in the night.

The court heard Roberts had been re­leased from prison shortly be­fore the at­tack after he was jailed for five years in July 2013 for hold­ing a sawn-off shot- gun to an­other man’s head dur­ing a row over money.

On March 31, both Roberts and Mr Ayabowei had been out so­cial­is­ing at var­i­ous pubs in Bangor, be­fore mak­ing their way to the night­club in Dean Street (far right).

At about 2am, there was an ar­gu­ment among a group of young women in the club and they were ejected.

The ar­gu­ment con­tin­ued out­side the club and CCTV footage showed Mr Ayabowei ush­er­ing one of the women away.

Roberts, said to have been boast­ing about his re­lease from prison and how he was “go­ing to bang some­one out tonight”, ap­proached Mr Ayabowei and, with­out warn­ing or provo­ca­tion, punched him.

Mr Ayabowei, of Llangefni, was taken to Ys­byty Gwynedd, Bangor, and later trans­ferred to the Royal Stoke Hospi­tal, where he died hav­ing never re­gained con­scious­ness.

After last Wed­nes­day’s hear­ing Det Chief Supt Brian Kear­ney said North Wales was a “safer place with­out Roberts”.

“Kieron Roberts is where he be­longs, be­hind bars,” he added.

“This was a truly wicked and to­tally un­pro­voked at­tack that has left a fam­ily heart­bro­ken and sick­ened a com­mu­nity.

“Roberts is a vile, vi­cious thug and, through­out this in­ves­ti­ga­tion, he has shown no re­morse what­so­ever.

“He is, with­out doubt, a dan­ger­ous in­di­vid­ual and many in the lo­cal com­mu­nity will be re­as­sured by his im­pris­on­ment,” he con­cluded.

Kieron Roberts, 26, was de­scribed as ‘dan­ger­ous’ (in­set) vic­tim Esinkumo Ayabowei, 27

VIC­TIM: Esinkumo Ayabowei, 27

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