Chilling CCTV has captured the final moments before footballer Jordan Sinnott was fatally punched to the floor in an attack sparked by the victim agreeing one of his attackers was ‘fat and ginger’.
The Matlock Town FC midfielder, 25, died in hospital after suffering a fractured skull and brain damage in an assault in the centre of Retford, Nottinghamshire, at around 2am on January 25.
Prosecutors said Kai Denovan ‘flew immediately into a rage’ after the footballer joined in with what he believed to be the defendant’s ‘self-deprecating humour’.
Denovan, 22, ‘followed rapidly behind’ Mr Sinnott and his two friends Ben Bossons and Adam Towlson into The Vine pub, Nottingham Crown Court heard.
Jurors heard the man told Mr Sinnott he was a ‘good-looking lad’ and would have no trouble ‘pulling girls’ – unlike him, who was ‘fat and ginger’.
‘Yes I can see that,’ Mr Sinnott replied, which the prosecution said provoked the attack.
Nottingham Crown Court heard Denovan’s comment was a ‘deliberate honey trap’.
Denovan was found guilty of manslaughter after a trial at Nottingham Crown Court.
His co-defendant Cameron Matthews, 21, pleaded guilty to manslaughter at an earlier hearing – admitting he was the one who administered the fatal punch.
Sean Nicholson, 22, admitted affray in connection with the same incident.
Nottinghamshire Police today released CCTV footage showing Mr Sinnott being pursued by his attackers ahead of the fatal assault.
In the clip, Denovan and Matthews are seen ‘following rapidly behind’ Mr Sinnott who is walking towards The Vine pub with Bossons and Towlson.
During Denovan’s trial, the court heard how Matthews was ‘taking over’ from Denovan who was ‘plainly hell-bent on trouble’ – and who had allegedly punched Mr Sinnott twice in the face inside The Vine.
Prosecutor Michael Auty QC told the court Mr Sinnott was willing to apologise for any offence caused, but described Denovan, Matthews and Nicholson as a ‘pack hunting down and exacting retribution’.
Matthews hit Mr Sinnott ‘two or three times’ after the violence spilled out into the street outside the pub, knocking him to the floor and causing fatal injuries.
Police were called to the scene as ambulance crews were attempting to treat Mr Sinnott. Despite being rushed to hospital, the footballer died later that day.
Detective Chief Inspector Rob Routledge, who led the investigation, said: ‘Jordan was a talented and loved young man who had many promising years ahead of him.
‘Matthews’ and Denovan’s actions in the early hours of 25 January cruelly took that future away from Jordan and changed his family’s lives forever.
‘The response to Jordan’s death showed just how much he meant to those who knew him.
‘I have been astounded by the courage, strength and integrity of Jordan’s family and friends throughout. They have inspired us all during many the long hours of this large and complex investigation.
‘Nottinghamshire Police was tireless in conducting this large and complex investigation, and we were determined to hold Matthews and Denovan responsible for their actions.
‘This meticulous work, including speaking to dozens of witnesses and trawling through hours of CCTV, has led to them being brought to justice.
‘Life will never be the same for Jordan’s family, but I hope they will get some comfort from justice being served.’
All three men will be sentenced at the same court on July 31.