Thug jailed for killing loving grandfather with just two punches as he made his way home

A Yorkshire man has been jailed after killing a loving grandfather with two punches after a night out.

Graham Linstead, 60, was making his way home from a night out with his partner when he was the victim of an unprovoked attack by Ricky Braithwaite.

Braithwaite, of Newton Street, Barnsley, had been out drinking with a separate group that night and was also under the influence of drugs when he carried out the attack on September 4.

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He ran up behind Mr Linstead and punched him twice, causing his victim to fall to the ground and hit his head on the floor.

Ricky Braithwaite, 38, (left) killed Graham LInstead (right) with two punches

The emergency services were called to the scene at 10.30pm and Mr Linstead was taken to Sheffield General Hospital. He was put on a life support machine but died four days later.

Braithwaite was arrested shortly after the attack and charged with assault, which was upgraded to manslaughter upon his death. He admitted the crime on October 5 and was jailed for six year on October 14.

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His daughter, Charlotte, told Sheffield Crown Court: “My dad was a very loving man and would help and support anyone who asked him for anything. He liked to love and to be loved, and a sense of belonging meant everything to him. He was my best friend, my gig buddy, and a grandad to my young daughter.

“There has to be something good that comes from this. There has to be a change in mindset and violence and how people conduct their lives.”

Judge Peter Kelson QC said Graham’s family had been subjected to a life sentence due to Braithwaite's actions that night.

Senior investigating officer for South Yorkshire Police, DCI Mark Oughton, said: “This case is a clear example of how throwing a couple of drunken punches can destroy lives. This assault was captured on CCTV; it lasts for no longer than ten seconds. In mere seconds, Braithwaite caused one man’s death, destroyed his own life and left two families in tatters.

“This is an incredibly tragic set of circumstances and my thoughts are firmly with Graham’s family today – I cannot imagine the pain they are experiencing and I am grateful to them for working so closely with us over this past few weeks.

“Alcohol-fuelled violence can have fatal consequences. Before you throw that punch, ask yourself, is it worth it? As the judge said, violence does not solve anything and can impact on so many people.”