Judge tells Killer thug he wishes eight year sentence was more

Daniel Duckworth, 36, of West Street Sowerby Bridge, who was given a 13-year extended sentence for the manslaughter of ex-Paratrooper Richard Reynolds in Sowerby Bridge on 13 May 2011.
Daniel Duckworth, 36, of West Street Sowerby Bridge, who was given a 13-year extended sentence for the manslaughter of ex-Paratrooper Richard Reynolds in Sowerby Bridge on 13 May 2011.

A jealous thug who killed a former paratrooper with one punch has been given a 13-year extended sentence.

A jury took just 35 minutes to unanimously convict muscle-bound Daniel Duckworth, 36, of manslaughter after he attacked Richard Reynolds in Sowerby Bridge in May.

He was given the maximum eight-year jail term, with a further five years on licence after his release.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall told Duckworth: “Eight years is not long enough. I would like to give you more.”

Mr Reynolds, 42, had been out for a drink with his friend Martin Potts. They were walking between pubs when they began talking to Michelle Burrell, Duckworth’s fiancee, who was standing alone, looking upset.

Mr Potts told Bradford Crown Court Miss Burrell had flirted with Mr Reynolds but as they talked, Duckworth left the Roxy nightclub and stormed over.

Without warning, he punched Mr Reynolds in the face twice, the second blow breaking his jaw and knocking him unconscious, before kicking him as he lay in the road bleeding.

Witnesses told of a hollow thud as Mr Reynolds’ head hit road.

Duckworth then threw a punch at Mr Potts before he grabbed his Miss Burrell, bent her backwards over a wall and slapped her.

Then, as onlookers rushed to Mr Reynolds aid, the pair walked back passed the Roxy where doorman Geoffrey Pryce heard Duckworth tell Miss Burrell, “shut up, or you’ll get the same.”

Mr Reynolds died in hospital 12 days after the brutal attack.

During the trial, Duckworth and Miss Burrell told jurors that Mr Reynolds had threatened to rape her and that Duckworth had acted out of protection for his fiance.

But jurors dismissed the claims, which the judge branded as “obvious lies.”

“It’s clear from the jury taking such a short time to convict that there was no alternative explanation for your actions.

“Your girlfriend gave the most obvious lying evidence to try and get you off.

“Through jealous anger, you attacked a man who had stopped in the street to talk to your girlfriend out of courtesy. When you saw her talking to the men your only intention was to walk purposefully and attack a man.

“You were ready to punch hard without any consideration of the affect.

The judge added: “It is clearly the case that Richard Reynolds was a very good man, and an upright, hard working member of society.

“The allegations made towards Mr Reynolds have had a particularly shocking affect on his family at what is already a distressing time,” he said.

Duckworth, of West Street, Sowerby Bridge, has previous convictions for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, criminal damage and threatening behaviour, as well as indecent exposure.

Det Supt Paul Taylor, from the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “The assault that resulted in Richard Reynold’s death was completely unnecessary and could easily have been avoided. This tragedy sadly illustrates how a moment of violence on a night out can have terrible consequences and should serve as a stark reminder to others. We hope the fact the person responsible has been brought to justice today will provide some small measure of comfort to Richard’s family.”