YOUR VIEWS: Tragedy where everyone involved simply loses out

Images of the incident that led to Michael Rhodes death
Images of the incident that led to Michael Rhodes death
Share this article

A man died as the result of injuries sustained from a punch by a 16-year-old youth. The teenager - Connor Stewart - was locked up for three years for the manslaughter of Michael Rhodes.

The sentencing of a 16-year-old boy for killing Blackpool man Michael Rhodes with a single punch was bound to spark debate.

GRAPHIC CONTENT: Victim 'did nothing to provoke' killer teen

But when we revealed a judge had sentenced Connor Stewart to just three years detention in a Youth Offender’s Institution, many of you condemned the sentence as too lenient – while others warned of the dangers of launching attacks like this.

Stewart was locked up for three years for killing Mr Rhodes, 47, outside a North Shore corner shop in May.

Judge Mark Brown, sitting at Preston Crown Court, told Stewart: “You were shadow boxing and Mr Rhodes had his hands held out in a kind of wishing to keep the peace gesture.

“Despite that, you delivered a deliberate and forceful blow which knocked him off his feet, caused him to go backwards, and his head struck a concrete floor.

“There was absolutely no need for you to get involved with him, and he did nothing to provoke you hitting him.”

Mr Rhodes suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain. He was taken to Royal Preston Hospital, where he remained in a critical condition for weeks before his death on Sunday, June 11, more than three weeks later. Judge Brown added: “This is obviously a very tragic case and I accept you did not intend to kill Mr Rhodes or do him really serious harm.”

Here’s your comments

I have been watching this story and sadly I could have predicted this sentence. My brother was killed in Blackpool nearly 10 years ago with a single stab wound. His ex partner got sentenced to 28 months and served just 11 months

Estell Simpson

Let this be a lesson to people just how easy it is to hurt someone badly or even kill with just one punch. Please think twice before you even consider it all you young ones out there.

Cathy Murray

The family should take this to appeal. I think the whole of the Fylde Coast is sick of these kids running the streets

Clare Bear

To be given just three years in a youth detention centre is nothing but an insult to the victim and his family.

William Eadie

As much as I agree that the sentence is terrible, I just can’t help that think being inside isn’t exactly the best way either, they don’t rehabilitate them in to moral citizens in there, if they did that would be amazing but in reality he’s probably going to come out with worse connections and a worse attitude

Leanne Heyes

One moment of stupidity changes the lives of everybody

Billy East

So many kids out and about, hanging around on corners and making people feel nervous. There should be more things for kids and teens to do that keeps them from hanging about. Why aren’t their parents encouraging them to join groups?

Anne Marie Sagar

And this is exactly why they think they can go around doing things like this because essentially there are very minor repercussions. Quite embarrassing really. No wonder everyone thinks the British are weak.

Lianne Lall

Sadly, Mr Rhodes’ life is not the only one ruined: those closest to him must now deal with the loss of a beloved family member and friend, while Stewart, aged just 16, has a conviction for manslaughter and must spend the rest of his life with another man’s death on his conscience.

Cat Hart

If you take a life you should get life, simple. The UK Criminal Justice System is too soft.

John Cumming

I find it unbelievable these killers are getting three year sentences. It is about time sentencing reflected the crime.

Christian Cox

I don’t know what it is with some kids these days.... always wanting a fight, and having it filmed.

Victoria Jayne

In Australia, following a long campaign, the law was changed in these ‘one punch’ cases and there is now a minimum eight years up to 25.

Richard Peake