‘Uncle Bob’ killed in one-punch attack after vodka and brandy-fuelled row spilled onto street

A man killed ‘Uncle Bob’ after a vodka and brandy fuelled row spilled out onto the street. Jamie Kennedy, 24, had been drinking with 60-year-old Robert Payne before the pair became involved in an argument.

Kennedy punched Mr Payne to the face, and the blow caused him to fall back and hit his head on the pavement. He died three days later.

Kennedy, from Royton, Oldham, was found not guilty of murder following a trial at Manchester Crown Court. He had previously admitted manslaughter, and is due to be sentenced next month.

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The pair had been drinking together at Mr Payne’s house in Derker, Oldham. Kennedy’s brother Christopher was a regular visitor to Mr Payne’s home, with Jamie also attending but less frequently than his sibling.

The brothers, who called Mr Payne ‘Uncle Bob’, went to his home on the morning of October 15 last year. “It will appear that Mr Payne appeared happy to see the Kennedy brothers and appeared happy to start drinking with them before 7am,” prosecutor Francis McEntee told the trial.

Two women were also present with the pair. “One of the women reports that between 7am and 9am, Mr Payne, together with a neighbour and the two Kennedy brothers consumed a litre bottle of vodka and a litre bottle of brandy,” Mr McEntee added.

Before arriving at Mr Payne’s house, the Kennedy brothers and the two women had knocked on Shaunnagh Roberts’s door, who lived next door. She did not let them in and an argument developed between Ms Roberts and Christopher Kennedy.

The trial heard that inside Mr Payne’s house, Christopher Kennedy allegedly became aggressive and ‘pushed Mr Payne to the ground and sat on him’, before grabbing his neck and then leaving the house. A row also ensued between Jamie Kennedy and Mr Payne. Jamie Kennedy was told to leave, it was said.

Kennedy pushed Mr Payne down and grabbed him by the throat, Mr McEntee said. The altercation then moved outside into the street, with the punch being witnessed by Ms Roberts.

Reporting what Ms Roberts later said, Mr McEntee told jurors: “She said ‘Bob grabbed hold of Jamie, Jamie punched him. Obviously he’s drunk and he fell to the floor and hit his head.

“‘As he fell he’s basically out cold. I don’t know why he had to do it, but he carried on punching him whilst he was on the floor’.”

Jamie Kennedy initially claimed he was acting in self defence, but later pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Mr Kennedy, of Garden Terrace, Royton, will be sentenced on May 6.

Manchester Evening News – Oldham