TWO teenagers have been caged for five years after being found guilty of killing a young Deeside dad on the City Walls in Chester.
Sentencing Kieran Cunnah, 18, and Jordan Andrews, 17, to a young offenders’ institution for the manslaughter of Christopher Garwell, Mr Justice Nicol described their violent joint attack as “angry, unwarranted and unlawful”.
He told them “It was your joint attack which probably knocked Christopher unconscious so he could not break his fall and his skull fractured when it hit the stone walkway.
“Your kick and punch also violently twisted his head. The force which went into these blows must have been considerable. All of this contributed to the devastating brain injuries which Christopher suffered and a few days later led to his death.”
Highlighting the devastating consquences of their joint actions the teenagers were told: “Inevitably you intended to cause Christopher some harm, but not the grievous bodily harm which would have put your convictions in a diferent league.
“Yet whatever your intentions, the consequences of your actions have been tragic.”
Condemning the attack carried out on Mr Garwell in his “extremely vulnerable state”, Mr Juctice Nicol told the pair: “Although Christopher was older than you, he had shown no violence at all during the day.
“It was a case of two on one and the one you faced was so stoned and drunk that he could have posed no threat to either of you.
“It was he who had a legitimate fear of further violence of the kind he had already experienced a short while before (an attack on the City Walls).
“By their verdicts the jury held you both jointly responsble for the assault which led to Christopher’s death.”
Mr Justice Nicol said: “I take into account your ages and I bear in mind that for some six months you have been facing a charge of murder and that will have been a frightening experience. But these offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence would be appropriate.”
Cunnah, of Durham Road, Blacon, Chester, and Andrews, of Dyserth Road, Blacon, Chester, stared straight ahead as their sentences were announced. Their families sobbed with their heads in their hands in the public gallery.
Turning to Cunnah, a kitchen porter, Mr Justice Nicol told him: “I am told you were willing to plead guilty to manslaughter. You could have formalised that position by pleading to manslaughter before the court.
“You had taken part in the assault in Charlotte Court. The force with which a kick can deliver is potentially greater than a punch and you kicked Christopher in the head twice.”
He added: ”Kieran, you were 17 at the time of the offence and are 18 now. You have been before the juvenile court on five previous occasions for 15 previous offences”.
Referring to Cunnah’s rehabilitation orders, which were still in force when Mr Garwell was attacked on June 3, the judge said: “Plainly you had not been rehabilitated. There is much work still to be done on your thinking and decision-making and in learning to control your temper and reactions.”
Andrews had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and was the subject of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO), the court heard.
Mr Justice Nicol also passed sentence on a 17-year-old youth from Blacon, who was cleared of the orginal murder charge partway through the trial, but had pleaded guilty to affray.
Imposing a 12-month referral order on the youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, the judge said: “You tried to kick Christopher, but you fell over and it seems that your kick did not connect.
“You then left the scene and then ran off. Whether that was because you realised that what you had done was wrong or for less noble motives does not matter.
“Your plea of guilty to affray recognised that the violence you showed to Christopher was unlawful, but the Crown accepted that your departure meant you were not responsible for the tragic events that followed.”
- AFTER the hearing Christopher Garwell’s mother Julie, from Connah’s Quay, told the Leader: “Whatever sentence given would never be enough to justify the unlawful killing of Chris.
“Our family would now like to move on and mourn our loss.”
Mr Justic Nicol commended Mr Garwell’s family for the dignified manner in which they had behaved throughout the five-week court proceedings.
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