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12 August 2011, 15:21
A man has been jailed for 16 years over the death of a Doncaster Dad who died whilst trying to break up a row.
Luke Jolly has been sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court to four years and nine months in prison for the manslaughter of Ray Eden in March this year.
Detective Inspector Steve Leach, the senior investigating officer in the case, said: "Around 7.30am on Friday, 18 March 2011, 42-year-old Ray Eden was assaulted and ultimately lost his life in one of the most pointless and unprovoked criminal assaults I have ever investigated.
As Mr Eden left his home address early that morning he witnessed an argument between Luke Jolly and his girlfriend outside their rented property in Scawthorpe. Mr Eden approached the couple to see if he could help and calm things down. In a completely unprovoked assault, Jolly punched him in the face.
Such was the ferocity of the punch; Mr Eden had no time to defend himself. Witnesses describe his hands by his side when punched, causing him to fall straight back and smash his head on the pavement.
Jolly tried to drag Mr Eden to his feet and when he realised he could not, dropped him, banging his head once more. He suffered catastrophic head injuries from which he subsequently died three days later. As neighbours came to administer first aid to Mr Eden, Jolly and his girlfriend fled the scene in Jolly's car.
Mr Eden was a truly innocent man; he was not drunk, violent or argumentative. The decision to try to calm a situation down and help others ultimately cost Mr Eden his life. He was an outstanding husband to Gail and a wonderful idol to his son Finn. Gail has shown such dignity and Finn such maturity while coming to terms with their loss. Clearly his family and friends are devastated by their loss with huge holes left in the lives of everybody Mr Eden touched.
This is in stark contrast to Jolly who is no stranger to violence. He is a bully with an unpredictable side to his personality. Doubtless he did not intend to kill Mr Eden, but he did intend to cause him injuries.
Jolly has shown no remorse to his actions. Though he has always admitted to punching Mr Eden, he initially claimed that this was in self-defence. It was only after overwhelming evidence was put to him showing that this clearly was not the case, that Jolly eventually pleaded guilty to manslaughter at court.
All people, particularly young men, should think twice before engaging in senseless violence as the consequences can be drastic."
A member of the Eden family said after the sentencing: "We have lost a great man to the angels. He was an outstanding husband, father, son in law, brother in law and friend whose love, kindness and sense of friendship will remain in the hearts of everyone he knew.
Ray was an extremely talented and keen sportsman who strove to be the best he could be. He was well known as a national cycling champion and was extremely proud to represent his country and his company / sponsor, planet X bikes, where he worked for 17 years. He was also an enthusiastic member of Doncaster rowing club in which he trained and competed along with his wife and son.
Ray will leave a huge hole in the lives of so many people, he touched the hearts of everyone who met him and he will live on in the happy memories he gave to others.
We can take some comfort from the fact that he believed in organ donation and that was one of the most generous gifts he could give that came out of this tragedy.
Ray's wife has lost her life long soul mate and best friend and his son has lost a great, inspirational father, but he will never be forgotten."