Banker's family in 'think again' plea as thug jailed for single-punch killing
The heartbroken family of former Queen's banker Oliver Dearlove urged people to "think again" before using their fists, as the thug who killed him with a single punch began a six-year jail term.
Trevor Timon, 31, had a history of violence before the attack on the "kind and gentle" 30-year-old in Blackheath, south-east London, last August.
He was jailed for six years with a further five years on extended licence for Mr Dearlove's manslaughter, after being acquitted of murder at the Old Bailey.
Judge Mark Dennis QC told him: "This was a senseless death that occurred as a result of an act borne out of a flaw in your character which in the past has seen you display unnecessary violent conduct to others when, for reasons best known to you, you have become annoyed or wound yourself up."
"Oliver Dearlove was a young man of fine character with a long and promising future ahead of him. His loss in such senseless circumstances has, as the court has heard, caused untold misery for his family and those close to him."
In a letter read to court, Timon said: "There is not a single day that I don't think of Oliver, his friends and family and the devastating effects my action has caused."
Afterwards, Mr Dearlove's girlfriend Claire Wheatley and mother Joy Wright spoke of the devastating consequences one punch had caused.
Mrs Wright, 56, said: "People should really think again. The one blow was taken and landed - it might as well have been a knife or gun. He was gone before he hit the floor. People must think before they raise their fists. "
She rejected Timon's expression of remorse, saying: "If he was devastated he wouldn't have walked away and left him. I think he's more upset he got caught."
Miss Wheatley, 29, from New Eltham, south-east London, broke down in tears as she described losing her "Mr Right".
She said: "A couple of hours before, he sent me a text saying "Love you bub" which I replied, expecting him to come home. That last message will always stay with me.
"He was a gentleman, an absolute gentleman. The nicest, kindest person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and being with. I was fortunate enough to love him and spend four years with him.
Mr Dearlove and his friends were on their way home from a university reunion when they struck up a friendly chat with a group of women in the street who had been out celebrating a birthday with Timon.
Timon demanded to know what they were discussing and told his victim "If you don't get out of my face I will knock you out", the court heard.
He then delivered a powerful left-hand punch to Mr Dearlove's head, sending him to the ground and knocking him out.
A passing motorist stopped and gave him first aid but the victim died in hospital within 24 hours of the attack.
Afterwards, Timon fled to Ireland but returned days later and handed himself in to police, after confiding to one of the women "I'm scared, seriously, proper".
In 2010, Timon had admitted punching a woman in the face, allegedly knocking her out after threatening to "bang" her out.
He also had 12 previous convictions including for shouting at a bus driver while brandishing a golf club and throwing a punch at a barman after being refused re-entry to a pub at closing time.
Mr Dearlove, of New Eltham, worked as a relationship manager at Duncan Lawrie Private Bank, having previously held a position at Coutts, the bank used by the Queen.