A 22-YEAR-OLD man who assaulted a teenager whose drowned body was later found in a hotel lake has been given a suspended jail sentence.
Haydn Mark Evans, 18, from Mold, drowned following the dance-floor scuffle at the De Vere Carden Park Hotel near Chester during a Christmas party on December 16, 2011.
A large-scale police hunt was launched for the construction firm labourer, whose body was found in the lake of the luxury hotel two weeks after he was escorted out by security.
Last Thursday a Manchester man was handed a 20-week suspended sentence and 200 hours of community service for assaulting the teenager in the hours before he vanished.
On the night in question Adam Steven Crutchley, of Coppice Avenue in Sale, was at a staff party when he threw Mr Evans to the ground before kicking him in the head, after the teenager allegedly made advances on his girlfriend.
Party-goers saw Crutchley kick the teenager’s head ‘like a football’, causing it to swing back, Chester Magistrates Court heard.
Crutchley, who is currently studying for a BA in Manchester and has aspirations to become an architect while working as a salesman in the city, was sentenced following a three-day trial earlier this month.
Stuart Page, defending, said Crutchley had admitted forcing Mr Evans to the floor in a judo move after seeing him hugging his girlfriend, but denied kicking him to the head. He was remorseful for his actions.
But Crutchley breached his bail in July last year after a drink-fuelled assault on a man in a bar in Manchester, he said.
Mr Page added: “He now does not go out drinking at all. He has given up perhaps an aggressive pastime in judo and is now going round to friends’ homes and playing cards.”
It is not thought Mr Evans sustained any injuries from the assault, and a coroner ruled death by accident following a jury inquest in December.
Sentencing Crutchley to 20 weeks imprisonment suspended for 18 months, 200 hours unpaid work and placing him on the new directions activity requirement (NDAR), District Judge Nicholas Sanders said: “You know that sadly the victim went on and suffered an accident or some other problem from which he died. The case against you has never been that you caused his demise.
“It was a serious offence and could have caused very significant injuries. You have come very close today to serving a prison sentence.”
Crutchley was also ordered to pay £930 costs.
About 200 people from a number of companies and groups were attending the three-course Christmas dinner and disco event when Mr Evans vanished, leading to a large-scale search of the grounds and a nationwide police appeal.