A teenage boy has admitted killing a middle-aged father-of-three with a single punch after a row outside McDonald’s.
Wayne Chester, 50, was killed with a single blow after being struck by the 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
The boy, on trial at Maidstone Crown Court for murder, admitted manslaughter which was accepted by the prosecution.
Judge Jeremy Carey apologised to those in the packed public gallery for adjourning sentence to April 30, but explained that the teenager had to be assessed for dangerousness and the risk of re-offending.
Mr Chester, who was 50, died from a head injury after he was attacked outside McDonald’s in Maidstone, Kent, in the late evening of September 29.
The victim, from Maidstone, was taken to a London hospital and put into an induced coma, but died the next day.
Wearing a green hoodie, the teenager, also from Maidstone, nodded when identified in the dock and was told to answer by the judge.
Prosecutor Simon Taylor said there was CCTV footage of the tragic incident, which was “brief in duration”.
Judge Carey said: “I must adjourn by law for a report in the case of young offenders.
“Even if he were not as young as he is it would be imperative for a report in a matter of this gravity.
“It is unsatisfactory for those who want finality. We will need to have has much information as possible. I can understand their frustration.
“It is perfectly justifiable on the part of those who are grieving when there is not finality in the Criminal Justice process which will never be satisfactory for the family in any event.
“The sentence, no matter how long it is, emollient words from a judge will go so far for what is a devastating event in their lives. The process is not satisfactory at all, but justice must take its course.
“There must be justice for the defendant. That is part of the Criminal Justice process.”
The judge added: “Now is not the time for me to make further observations about the case itself. That is better left to the sentencing hearing.
“Those who have come along today will undoubtedly leave with a sense of dissatisfaction when nothing much has been said, but it is not helpful to say one thing on one day and refresh it on another day.”
Judge Carey said he had read victim statements. “The court does not underestimate the impact of this matter or the impact to those who were close to the deceased and very much grieve his death.”
He told the teenager, who cannot be identified for legal reasons that reports would be “directly relevant to the length of the custodial sentence which will inevitably be imposed upon you for your criminal wrongdoing”.
The boy has been remanded in custody to be sentenced at the end of next month.
Maidstone Police Chief Inspector Mick Gardner, said: “This was a tragic death of a man who had been on his way home after enjoying an evening out with friends.
“Mr Chester’s death has had a profound and devastating impact on the lives of his family and friends and our thoughts are with his bereaved relatives who have assisted us throughout the investigation and trial process.”
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