Fatal punch ‘killed’ man hours after planning best man speech

A man from Maldon was ‘needlessly killed’ with a fatal punch that caused him a traumatic brain injury.

Daryl Bunn and his friend became involved in a fight with a group of people outside the Iceland store in Maldon High Street on June 29 at around 8.50pm – although he did nothing to instigate the violence.

Daryl, 27, from Maldon, was injured and flown to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge but sadly died as a result of his injuries.

Daryl and his friend had met up on the afternoon of 29 June, 2019 to discuss their ‘Best Man’ speeches for another friend’s upcoming wedding.

They later met their other friends at the Oakhouse pub and the Blue Boar in the High Street.

Daryl and his friend left together between 8pm and 8.30pm to head back to Daryl’s house.

As they made that journey, they became involved in the altercation with a group of people in the High Street.

During the incident, Daryl was punched once, causing him to fall backwards. He hit his head on the ground, which led to his death.

A post-mortem examination found he had suffered a traumatic brain injury.

His friend suffered a broken jaw during the altercation.

Sonny Hazell, 25, of Kings Road, Southminster, was charged with Daryl’s manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to the friend.

Jordan Hooper, 24, of Princes Avenue, Southminster, was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Daryl’s friend.

They both denied the charges and stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court this month.

On Monday, November 30, a jury found Hazell guilty of manslaughter.

Both Hazell and Hooper were acquitted of causing grievous bodily harm in relation to Daryl’s friend.

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Lee Morton, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “This is a tragic case where someone has lost their life through no fault of their own following an altercation and a fight.

Floral tributes have been left along the alleyway next to Iceland

“The case shows that any act of violence can lead to someone being seriously injured and even killed.

“Daryl Bunn’s death was needless and completely avoidable, and his family and fiancée have been left devastated.

“They have been in court throughout the trial and heard how Daryl did nothing to instigate or provoke the incident that led to him losing his life.

“They have remained dignified throughout this incredibly difficult time and I want to thank them for their support throughout our investigation and the court case.”

Mr Hazell will be sentenced on January 8, 2021.

Essex Live