A street drinker from Holsworthy who killed his friend when he who took a swig from his bottle of wine has been jailed for 10 years.
Guy Pottle hit victim Antony Moore so hard with a single punch he was lifted off the ground and suffered fatal head injuries as he was knocked unconscious and fell backwards onto the pavement.
Both men had been drinking together after going to the Respect Festival in Exeter on June 30 this year and the attack happened when they were with a group of homeless people outside Sports Direct in the High Street.
The entire incident was captured on CCTV which showed Mr Moore taking the bottle, having a swig, and passing it back to Pottle, who moved it into his left hand before delivering a ‘haymaker’ punch with his right fist.
Pottle had been drinking all day to celebrate his release from jail two days earlier after spending three months on remand for drug dealing charges.
He was let out after being sent on a drug rehabilitation course but instead of going to live with his sister in Dawlish, as he promised to probation officers, he stayed in Exeter and went out drinking and taking drugs.
He had attacked the manager of a Sainsbury shop in Sidwell Street, Exeter, just minutes before the killing when he was caught shoplifting bottles of wine.
Mr Moore, aged 40, who was also homeless, suffered a fractured skull and brain injuries which caused his death at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, nine days later.
Pottle, aged 32, denied manslaughter but was found guilty at Exeter Crown Court after a trial in December.
He was jailed for 10 years for manslaughter, including a four-year extended licence and two years, eight months for the earlier drug dealing offences by Judge Justice May.
Mrs May declared he was a dangerous offender and told him: “This was all captured on CCTV. You were seen punching him so hard he was lifted off his feet.
“He leaves a sister, family and friends. He was still young, with his life ahead of him. You took that away from him and from them.
“Your history of violent offending is an aggravating feature, as is the fact that you were very drunk at the time.
“I accept the punch was not pre-meditated and that you are truly remorseful.”
Pottle was living in a notorious ‘crack’ house in North Street, Holsworthy, in November and December 2017 when he was twice caught selling drugs to undercover officers in Exeter.
He was not arrested until March and was then remanded in custody until June 28, when he received a community order with a drug rehabilitation requirement. He killed Mr Moore two days later.
He has several previous convictions for violence and served a four year jail term in 2014 for a machete attack on a friend, also carried out when he was drunk and on drugs.
The verdict was welcomed by volunteer support worker Kiernon Barnes, who has known Mr Moore for most of his life.
He said: “I am really pleased that he has got some justice. Antony was no angel but nobody deserves what happened to him.”
Detective Superintendent Jo Hall, senior investigating officer in the case, also welcomed the verdict.
DS Hall said: “This was an incident involving a group of people that knew each other.
“A brief argument over alcohol led to Mr Pottle assaulting Mr Moore in an unprovoked manner that sadly led to his death.
“This was a detailed investigation involving Local Policing teams and the Major Crime Investigation Team.
“The police would like to thank the witnesses without who we would not have secured a conviction.
“We welcome today’s sentence, and our thoughts are with the family of Anthony Moore.”
Mr Moore grew up in Redhills, Exeter, but fell out with his mother and had been homeless for most of his adult life.
At the time of his death he was living in a tent in the historic Catacombs off Bartholomew Street in Exeter.