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Killer 'raised his fists in triumph' after fatally knocking out man
A 'peacemaker' raised in fists in triumph” after fracturing the skull of a man who was who was “causing no trouble whatsoever”.
Lee Molineau, 46, died of his injuries a few days after being attacked in Seaside Road, Eastbourne, on July 31, 2013.
He was set upon by Rossi Hendeson, 25, of no fixed address, who police said “presented himself as the peacemaker” but then went on to punch Mr Molineau to the ground, fracturing his skull, after a row broke out between him and two women, Hayley Whittaker and Ruby Heard.
While Mr Molineau was prone on the ground, Whittaker, 23, of Honeycrag Lane, Polegate, kicked him.
He was whisked to Hurstwood Park Neurosciences Centre in Haywards Heath, but died.
At Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday, Whittaker admitted manslaughter and was jailed for five years.
Henderson – who had been at a party on the night of the incident and knew neither woman – also admitted manslaughter and was jailed for five-and-a-half years.
Heard, 26, of Lexden Drive, Seaford, admitted affray and was jailed for eight months but was allowed to walk free as she had already served her sentence while in custody.
Speaking after the sentence, Mr Molineau’s sister-in-law Kay Perkins said: "Although it will not bring Lee back we feel that justice has been done and appropriate sentences have been given. We can now try to move on and rebuild our lives."
Detective Superintendent Ian Pollard said the trio’s behaviour was “appalling”.
He added: “On a busy street a chance encounter between people hardly known to each other led to an alcohol-fuelled petty argument, which in turn escalated into unwarranted acts of violence, and tragically culminated in an innocent man losing his life.
"Lee was sitting in the street and had been drinking but causing no trouble whatsoever when Whittaker and Heard, who had both been drinking all evening, came by and for no known reason starting shouting at Lee and an argument erupted between the three of them.
"Whittaker decided to call for support from a party at a flat overlooking the scene and Henderson, who was there and did not know either of the women, but who had a very brief altercation with Lee in the street earlier that night, took it upon himself to rush straight outside.
“Although initially representing himself as the peacemaker, he then without any warning punched Lee straight in the face.
"Lee fell straight down and his head hit the pavement or wall, breaking his skull and causing injuries from which he tragically never recovered.
"Not content with this Whittaker then kicked Lee as hard as she could.
“Henderson then raised his fists in apparent triumph and all three fled the scene.”
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