February 14, 2019 2.49 pm This story is over 57 months old

Man jailed for ‘one punch manslaughter’ in Grimsby

Police released CCTV footage of the attack

A 37-year-old man has been jailed for four years for the manslaughter of Christopher Shipway in Grimsby.

As previously reported, Christopher Shipway did not recover from the serious injuries he suffered after an assault during an argument with Marc Bennison in Grimsby town centre on August 25 last year.

CCTV footage of the incident has been released by Humberside Police as requested by Shipway’s family which shows the altercation on the night.

The argument happened just before 3am on Old Market Place. Shipway was punched just once by Bennison and fell backwards sustaining serious head injuries. He later died from those injuries in hospital on September 1.

Christopher Shipway died of his injuries in September 2018. Photo: Humberside Police

A trial has been held at Sheffield Crown Court over the last three days before Bennison, of no fixed abode, was sentenced on February 14.

Bennison denied the charge of manslaughter in court, but on Thursday lunchtime a jury found him guilty of causing Christopher’s death by a majority of 11 to 1.

CCTV of the argument which happened in Grimsby town centre in August 2018. Photo: Humberside Police

“We are devastated”

Christopher’s family issued a joint statement after Bennison was found guilty which said: “We are devastated to have lost Christopher in such unnecessary circumstances.

“Amongst many things, we are so proud of the voluntary work Christopher was involved in, particularly with Headway which is a brain injury charity.

“It is a tragic coincidence that it was a traumatic brain injury that took him from us. It was a wholly unnecessary and completely avoidable death.

“We are confident that the one thing Christopher would want to come out of this, as we do, is that people realise how dangerous it can be to punch someone even just once. A fist can be and has been in this instance, a lethal weapon.

“If hearing about this case can make someone think twice, and make them realise that no matter what violence towards another person is not the answer, then we will feel as though maybe some good can come out of an awful situation.

“That one fatal blow, just one punch, has taken the life of a much loved son, brother, husband, nephew, grandson, cousin, friend and valued member of the community. So many lives have been devastated from one punch.

“Christopher was also left injured on the street as people walked past.

“We would like to encourage anyone who sees someone lying in the street, even if you think it may be due to intoxication, get that person some help. You don’t need to even approach them if you are concerned for your safety just please pick up a phone and get assistance.

“Whether Marc Bennison meant to kill Christopher or not, his violent actions have taken Christopher from us, and that is something he will have to live with for the rest of his life.

“As well as Marc Bennison having to pay a custodial sentence and although we are pleased with today’s outcome sadly it won’t bring Christopher back.”

Further CCTV footage from the incident. Photo: Humberside Police

Lack of remorse aggravated his action

Detective Chief Inspector Stewart Miller said: “This was a case where a single punch unlawful assault was carried out after a degree of verbal provocation.

“There was no doubt that Marc Bennison caused the fatal injury. I am glad that the jury felt that the self defence claimed by Marc Bennison was not legitimate and that the assault was not justified or lawful in the circumstances.

“The lack of remorse by Marc Bennison simply aggravated his actions. A single punch has unnecessarily destroyed a number of lives. There were no winners in this incident.”

“Christopher Shipway lost his life and his family and friends lost valuable time with him. Marc Bennison has lost his liberty and now has to live with the knowledge he took the life of another person.

“I would urge anyone thinking of responding to provocation by using force or violence to think again. Walk away instead and call police.”