04:10PM, Wednesday 11 October 2017
A serial criminal with a history of violence is behind bars after being convicted of killing a Burnham father with a single punch.
Anthony Gardener, 62, of Burlington Road, Burnham, was sentenced to eight years in prison today (Wednesday) after he was found guilty of the manslaughter of dad-of-six Dean Haverley.
Over a seven-day trial at Reading Crown Court a jury was shown CCTV from the George Inn, in Burnham High Street, of Gardener hitting Mr Haverley shortly before midnight on August 12 last year.
Mr Haverley suffered a cardiac arrest and later died in Wexham Park Hospital.
The defendant, who has 15 previous convictions, including two violent offences, later claimed to have acted in self defence after being threatened.
But this was rejected by the prosecution, which claimed Gardener had ‘concocted’ this version of events and that Mr Haverley was being ‘a pest, not a threat’.
Sentencing Gardener after a jury found him guilty earlier today, Judge Angela Morris said: “Dean Haverley was enjoying the evening’s entertainment at the George.
“There was a band playing and everyone seemed to be having a good time.
“That jollity was destroyed at just before midnight when, for no justifiable reason at all, you threw a hard punch at Dean Haverley which was delivered with such force it instantly floored him, rendered him unconscious and within minutes induced a cardiac arrest.”
In a tribute issued after the sentencing, the family of Mr Haverley (pictured left) said: “With Dean’s untimely and unnecessary demise came a dark cloud that cannot ever be lifted.
“He was always the uplifting spirit that guided us all through life.
“Dean was a genuinely lovely husband, a loving father, brother, son, and friend to everyone. He will be missed by all.
“His memory will always live on in his children, and he will never ever be forgotten.
“We are blessed to have had him in our lives, no one will understand the devastation that his passing leaves behind.”
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