Disabled parking bay row killer jailed

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Black Friday shopping in the UK

A man who attacked and killed a fellow shopper in an Asda car park during a row over a disabled parking bay has been jailed for five years.

65-year-old Alan Watts, of Biggleswade, Bedfordshire was found guilty of manslaughter at Luton Crown Court, following the death of 64-year-old Brian Holmes.

The pair had got into an altercation in the disabled parking area of the Biggleswade supermarket when Mr Watts punched Mr Holmes twice in an unprovoked assault, causing him to fall to the floor.

Mr Holmes had been given the all-clear in his battle with cancer just days before he was killed.

The court was told how Mr Holmes had returned to his car without his wife, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, before being goaded by Mr Watts, who took exception to the fact that he was parked in a disabled bay.

Describing what happened next, prosecutor Ann Evans told the court: "The defendant, Alan Watts, in a show of extraordinary violence, lashed out at Brian Holmes at a car park in Asda and killed him with a punch to the head," reported Sky News.

Watts then got back in his car and drove away.

"This is a case about how a moment of madness can change people's lives forever," Ms Evans continued.

Mr Watts had initially told police that he was acting in self defence and that Mr Holmes was drunk and being abusive, trying to drag him out of his car. However CCTV evidence shown in court showed the true sequence of events.

Mr Holmes' widow sobbed as her witness statement was read to the court. In it she said that her husband had briefly left her to return to the car, but never returned.

"I continued shopping then went to the self-checkout," she said, reported the London Evening Standard.

"During this time I was constantly looking out for Brian, expecting to see him at any moment."

Nurse Particia Pearson, who witnessed the entire event, told the court that Mr Watts looked aggressive and that is was her "instinct" that something bad would happen.

She refuted the defence's claims that Mr Holmes has instigated the altercation by being aggressive.