Thugs who killed father-of-six face jail
TWO thugs from Ashford are facing jail sentences after admitting killing a father-ofsix in front of his wife and children.
Christopher Goldfinch of Falcon Way and Scott Stevens of Augustus Walk denied murdering Paul Hopkins outside his family home in Kennington when they appeared before a judge at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday.
The prosecution accepted their guilty pleas to manslaughter.
Anthony Prosser, prosecuting, told the judge: “The Crown accepts no weapons were used and there was no stamping. Predominantly, one is looking at punches to the head.”
Mr Prosser said the victim’s family had been consulted before taking the decision to accept the pleas.
The brutal attack happened on a sunny Sunday evening in a quiet cul-de-sac in Beecholme Drive on August 2 last year. Mr Hopkins’ children had been playing in the sunshine when a neighbour reportedly complained they were being too noisy.
The 32-year-old was attacked after what police described as a “dispute between neighbours”. His wife Toyah Brown-Davies and the children looked on as he was beaten.
The dad of five daughters and one son was taken to King’s College Hospital in London where he underwent brain surgery.
Neighbours described how a pool of blood formed around his head as he lay on the pavement after the attack.
Goldfinch and Stevens, both 23, were soon arrested and charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
They appeared before Ashford magistrates in December with the charge now murder following Mr Hopkins’ death the month before.
They appeared before a judge in December and were held in custody before reappearing in February where Goldfinch denied murder, while Stevens did not enter a plea.
At the time they both denied manslaughter.
On Monday Timothy Roberts, QC for Goldfinch, said the fatal blow was struck by his client with his left hand and not his right, as described by two witnesses close by.
Neither was it accepted, he said, that Mr Hopkins was kicked at all or that there were three assailants, as had been suggested.
“We make it plain only a custodial term can be passed in relation to this offence,” said Mr Roberts.
Goldfinch had received reprimands and a caution for common assault in the past.
Gibson Grenfell, QC, on behalf of Stevens, said his client had one reprimand for shoplifting and a warning for possessing an offensive weapon.
Mr Hopkins remained in a coma until his death on November 23 at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital.
Judge Andrew Patience adjourned sentence for reports until a date to be fixed, soon after June 14.
Stevens and Goldfinch were remanded in custody.
GUILTY: Thugs Christopher Goldfinch and Scott Steven have admitted the manslaughter of father-of-six Paul Hopkins