A disabled grandfather was jailed for three and a half years today for killing the 78-year-old brother of Hollywood legend Deborah Kerr in a road rage attack.
Eugene Warwood, 56, pleaded guilty in June to the manslaughter of retired journalist Edmund Trimmer, who died in hospital hours after his jaw was shattered outside a post office.
Birmingham Crown Court heard yesterday how Warwood, of Salop Road, Redditch, Worcestershire, launched the attack after a wing mirror was knocked off his van.
Sentencing Warwood, who sat in the dock with his hands resting on two walking sticks, The Recorder of Birmingham, Judge John Saunders, QC, said he had lost his self-control in the attack on a complete stranger.
Warwood had intended to hit Mr Trimmer, even though he knew he was elderly, and left the scene despite it being obvious that he was injured.
"The fact that you left the scene so readily does indicate that even the shock of what you had done did not dissipate your anger," he was told.
"What you did, looked at objectively, was very likely to cause very serious harm. This was an unprovoked attack on a 78-year-old man in a residential street in broad daylight.
"You delivered a powerful punch to a man's jaw resulting in a fracture. Even without the tragic and unintended consequences, this offence would have been met with an immediate prison sentence."
Explaining the length of sentence, the judge said: "Many people will consider the sentence ... inadequately reflects the tragic consequences of this blow and grievous loss it has caused.
"Others will feel that the intention of the offender, rather than the consequences, are what should be reflected principally in the sentence."
The judge said he had a difficult balance to strike and did so on the basis of guidance from the Court of Appeal in previous, similar cases.
More on this story in Friday's Birmingham Post