A former amateur boxer who killed his brother with a punch after a “stupid” street row has been jailed for more than five years.
Dominic Robson, 26, admitted the manslaughter of his brother Jordan Bell, 27, after they had been out drinking together in Sunderland on July 10 last year.
The forklift driver became annoyed when Mr Bell apparently made sexual jokes or comments about his brother’s girlfriend, and the argument which started in a pub continued into the street.
Robson, who had three amateur boxing bouts and had trained for six or seven years, felled Mr Bell with a single punch and caused him to suffer catastrophic brain injuries when he hit his head on concrete.
The brothers had been adopted separately and Mr Bell’s family had to make the heartbreaking decision to switch off his life support machine after he suffered a stroke in hospital, where he died two weeks after the punch.
Robson, of Birchwood, Sunderland, was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court by Judge Penny Moreland to five years and two months in jail.
He had been on trial earlier this year but after the jury was discharged when one of the panel tested positive for Covid-19, Robson changed his plea to guilty.
Shaun Routledge, defending, said Robson was full of remorse and that the punch was not premeditated.
He said: “There was no animosity between the brothers but for a stupid argument between the pair of them which might have lasted five minutes.”
The court heard victim statements from Mr Bell’s devastated parents Andrew and Tracy, who adopted him aged six and his sister Sarah when she was two.
Robson was adopted by a different family, the court heard.
Andrew Bell works with people who have suffered brain injuries and knew how serious Jordan Bell’s prognosis was, the court heard.
The grieving father said: “I have had my very soul ripped out and there’s nothing to replace it.”
Mr Bell’s mother said: “After years of trying, we had our perfect family – that has all been taken away.
“Why us? My heart has been ripped out.”
Sister Sarah Bell struggled to explain her feelings if anyone asked if she wanted to talk about what happened, saying: “How can you comprehend one brother killing another? Well, you just can’t.”
Detective Inspector Phil Bowles, of Northumbria Police, said: “I sincerely hope this case acts as a serious reminder to everybody about what can happen when you throw a punch.
“Robson’s decision that night has not only taken away his brother’s future, but ruined several lives forever.
“Robson made a choice when turning to violence and sadly that decision has had heartbreaking consequences.”