Man jailed for manslaughter following Harrogate Wetherspoons “one punch”

2 July 2015

A man who killed a work colleague with one punch during a night out in Harrogate has been jailed for six years.

Phillip Patrick Begley, aged 44 and of Wellington Road, Bridlington, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Paul Morrison at Leeds Crown Court on Thursday 2 July 2014, following a four-day trial.

Begley was also found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm for an attack on Paul’s friend, Peter Bell, and was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment to run consecutively.

The men had met in Harrogate on the evening of 1 November 2014, where they went for a drink in the Wetherspoons Winter Gardens pub, in Parliament Street.

At around 7.30pm, Paul and Mr Bell were in the beer garden at the back of the pub when they were approached by Begley. He punched Paul in the face and he fell backwards hitting his head on the base of a pillar.

Paul, who was aged 51 and from Burton Leonard, sustained a serious head injury and was taken to Harrogate District Hospital, where he spent almost three weeks fighting for his life before he sadly passed away.


Mr Bell suffered facial injuries in the incident, which required hospital treatment.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Pete Martin, of North Yorkshire Police, welcomed Begley’s sentence.


DCI Martin said:

Paul Morrison was a devoted family man whose wife and children have been left heartbroken by the actions of Philip Begley.

Paul was enjoying a night out with his friends and he never came home, which is a devastating and tragic scenario which no family should ever have to deal with.

At no time has Begley accepted responsibility for his actions and has forced Paul’s family to sit through the anguish of a crown court trial.

Now that Begley is facing spending the next few years in a prison cell I hope he takes some time to think about the devastating consequences of his violent behaviour.


DCI Martin added that this tragic case shows just how much damage one punch can cause.


DCI Martin said:

I hope Paul’s death highlights to people that getting involved in any kind of violent behaviour can have a tragic outcome.

A family has lost a loved one, and Philip Begley is spending the foreseeable future in jail all because of one punch.


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