Pubgoer jailed for six years over ‘one-punch manslaughter’ in Harrogate beer garden

Phillip Patrick Begley (s)
Phillip Patrick Begley (s)
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A man who killed a work colleague with one punch during a night out in Harrogate has been jailed for six years.

Paul Morrison fell backwards and hit his head on the base of a pillar after being punched by Phillip Patrick Begley, 44, in the beer garden of Wetherspoons Winter Gardens pub in Parliament Street.

Paul Morrison, 51, from Burton Leonard

Paul Morrison, 51, from Burton Leonard

The victim, 51 and from Burton Leonard, suffered a serious head injury and was taken to Harrogate District Hospital, where he spent almost three weeks fighting for his life before he died.

Begley, of Wellington Road, Bridlington, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Mr Morrison at Leeds Crown Court today after a four-day trial.

He was also convicted 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.

All three men met in Harrogate on the evening of November 1 2014 and went for a drink at the Wetherspoons. Mr Morrison and Mr Bell were together in the beer garden when Begley approached them.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Pete Martin, of North Yorkshire Police, 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.”

He added: “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.”