Teenager detained for killing good Samaritan pub landlord

A teenager has been detained for four years for killing pub landlord who was acting as a good Samaritan, police said.

Mark Winchcombe, 58, went to the aid of another person who was being attacked when he was punched by 16-year-old Drew Jones.

He suffered fatal injuries when he was hit just once in the incident in the early hours of September 1 last year outside the Smiths Arms pub in Neath, South Wales.

Jones, of Waunceirch, Neath, denied manslaughter but was convicted by a jury at Swansea Crown Court following a trial earlier this month.

A judge lifted an anonymity order following an application by journalists from WalesOnline.

Drew Jones, 16, has been detained for four years for killing pub landlord Mark Winchcombe (South Wales Police/PA)

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Winchcombe’s widow Christine said her husband’s death had changed her family’s life forever – including losing her home and business.

“Mark was a much-loved man, he was always on hand to help anybody. That’s what Mark was doing on that fateful night and he paid the ultimate price with his life,” Mrs Winchcombe said.

“It is only with the love and support of my wonderful family and friends from the pub that my son and I have got through the last six months.

“We were married for 23 years. Not only did I lose my husband, I lost my best friend and the man I could turn to about anything.

“He was the protective figure to my son and I – he made us feel safe. He was a loving and generous man, and I saw my whole future with Mark.

“Mark was a proud, loving and supportive father, but he has been taken away from my son who is only 20 years of age.

“Mark was always very supportive of my son’s education and he is due to graduate in July 2020, which Mark will never get to see.

“Mark was the life and soul of the pub and his death has also had a profound effect on the community.

“Since Mark’s death, I have never had so many grown men come up to me and start crying.

“In the days and weeks after his death I found myself thrown into the task of shutting down the business and moving out of the pub, which has been our home together for the last nine years.

“I have to pass the pub when I visit certain family members, and I find myself being drawn to stare at the pavement where Mark lay.”

Mrs Winchcombe said her husband’s mother Joan took his death particularly hard.

“If Joan was ever scared she would ring Mark, but not having Mark around made her feel very vulnerable,” she said.

“Joan used to love her weekly shopping trips, but her health went downhill and she said that she just didn’t care any more.

“Joan passed away on the day of the verdict.”

Detective Superintendent Darren George, of South Wales Police, said: “Mark’s life was needlessly cut short after he went to the aid of another person in the street.

“This case yet again sends out a clear message of how disorderly behaviour can end in tragedy.

“Only one punch was thrown during the incident, unfortunately this proved to be fatal for Mark and has resulted in his family losing a much-loved father and husband.

“The incident has unfortunately had a profound impact on a number of lives.

“It is clear Mark was well known, liked and respected in the locality, this incident has clearly shocked and saddened the local community and I would like to thank them for their support during our investigation.”

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