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Man jailed after Diamond Jubilee party punch up death
4:29pm Tuesday 20th November 2012 in News
A man who killed a father of three at a Diamond Jubilee party has been jailed.
James Harris-Durkin, 21, of Eastbourne was punched by Liam Smith, 26, during a "drunken dispute" after a family barbecue in June.
Mr Harris-Durkin had been making advances towards Smith's brother's wife during the party in Orpington, Kent, before the two men stepped outside to fight, the Old Bailey was told.
Smith hit Mr Harris-Durkin twice, causing him to "slump" to the ground with injuries to the head and neck.
He then left the party with his partner, Leanne Turner, 25, while Mr Harris-Durkin was lying unconscious on the ground.
An ambulance was called and paramedics tried to resuscitate the trainee car mechanic from East Sussex, but he died in hospital later that day.
A few days after the party, Turner and Smith told police they knew nothing of the fight, but in October they both pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and Smith, of Orpington, pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
In a statement read out in court, Mr Harris-Durkin's mother, Penny, said: "I have been left with a void in my life and in my heart. As a family we will miss out on the best years of his life."
Judge Peter Rook QC told Smith: "Three children are now left without their father. His death has had a devastating effect upon the family."
Smith was given a three-year prison sentence.
Turner, from Rochester, Kent, who has a child with Smith, was given a two-year suspended prison sentence and 200 hours' unpaid work.
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