The sin­gle punch that left a ‘po­lite, quiet man’ dead

Rochdale Observer - - SON LEFT AFRAID TO LEAVE HOUSE BY ATTACK AT SCHOOL - Rochda­le­ob­server@men­media.co.uk @RochdaleNews

ASTUDENT has been found guilty of killing a dad with a sin­gle punch.

A jury at Manch­ester’s Min­shull Street Crown Court convicted as­pir­ing foot­ball man­ager Ja­far Ali of the man­slaugh­ter of Keith Maden fol­low­ing a row out­side a take­away in Rochdale town cen­tre.

Ali, who was 19 at the time of the at­tack, claimed 5ft 4ins Keith had threat­ened to butt him and called him a ‘ **** ing P***’, in­sist­ing he had acted in self-de­fence.

Keith, 59, who had health prob­lems, never re­gained con­scious­ness af­ter smash­ing his head on the pave­ment and died in hospi­tal the next day of ‘catastrophic’ in­juries.

Ali told po­lice of­fi­cers Keith had pushed him, adding: “I’m not ly­ing to you, I gave him the light­est punch I’ve ever given any­one in my life.

“I don’t even punch. I’m not a vi­o­lent per­son... lit­er­ally it was on im­pulse. I thought this guy was gonna rip my head off.”

Keith had two pints in The Reed Ho­tel on York­shire Street on the even­ing of Septem­ber 28 last year, ac­cord­ing to the bar­maid who re­garded him as a ‘po­lite, quiet man who did not cause trou­ble’. He then made his way to Dixy Chicken.

Keith may have ap­peared to be drunk but he wasn’t. He had suf­fered a stroke dur­ing an op­er­a­tion in 2016 which had left him un­steady on his feet while his speech was some­times slurred. De­spite his health prob­lems, he was liv­ing in­de­pen­dently and re­build­ing his life.

Ali, now 20, told the ju­rors he had spent the day study­ing psy­chol­ogy of sports at the Univer­sity of Sal­ford. Af­ter his lec­tures, he went home and then headed into the town cen­tre to meet friends. He claimed Keith stamped out a cig­a­rette on the ground be­fore blow­ing smoke into the face of one of his friends. Ali, of Church Stile, Rochdale, said he aimed to ‘de-es­ca­late the si­t­u­a­tion’ by mak­ing a joke. “You look **** ing twisted (drunk),” he claimed to have told Keith.

He de­scribed Keith get­ting ever more an­gry as he came ‘right in my face’, claim­ing he threat­ened to butt him three times. Ali said his punch wasn’t a swing­ing right hand but a straight jab, which had been thrown in ‘self­de­fence’.

Asked why he punched Mr Maden, Ali said: “Im­pulse, be­cause he said he was go­ing to head­butt me.”

His sud­den act of vi­o­lence ended in one man’s death while Ali’s am­bi­tion of a ca­reer in foot­ball man­age­ment is in tat­ters.

Ali, a for­mer Hop­wood Hall Col­lege stu­dent who will be sen­tenced later this month, aban­doned his course at Sal­ford but has en­rolled at New Buck­ing­hamshire Univer­sity to the foot­ball in­dus­try.

●●Ja­far Ali guilty of killing Keith Maden, inset, with a sin­gle punch

●●Dixy chicken where Keith Maden was at­tacked and later died

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