A LATVIAN man has today (Tuesday) been jailed for life for the murder of Forest Town father Jonathan Turner.
Vjaceslavs Solovjovs (23) was told will serve a minimum of 17 years in prison as he was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court.
He and two other men viciously attacked Mr Turner (27) outside the Vibe, on Stockwell Gate, Mansfield, on 7th May last year.
Bagdas Kilic (22), of Westfield Lane, Mansfield, was jailed for 10 years for manslaughter and Andrej Novakov (21), of Kipling Street, Mansfield, received three years for violent disorder.
Solovjovs, of Terrace Road, Mansfield, was also convicted of perverting the course of justice.
After the sentencing, Mr Turner’s parents Russell and Margaret, and his sister Rachel, released a statement.
It said: “Jonathan, known affectionately as ‘Tonner’, was a much loved young man with a cheeky disposition and a smile for everyone he met. He was a wonderful, fun-loving daddy, son and brother. When he was killed our family changed forever.
“Jonathan had high hopes for his future. He worked as a roofer but was also studying to become a quantity surveyor. Family and friends were extremely important to him. He was loyal to each and every one of them. “A Facebook page in his memory demonstrates the affection so many had for him and how much he will be missed.
“All our son wanted was to work hard and provide for his adorable daughter Maisie. Instead, as a consequence of the violent action of strangers, she will now grow up without a daddy.
“We were there when our beloved son was born and we were there when he died. No parent should have to go through that, and we cannot express how difficult it is to have to tell a little girl that she will never see her daddy again.
“Attending the trial has been extremely painful and sad, but being here was the last thing any of us could do for Jonathan.
“We have viewed CCTV footage, and seen and heard from witnesses about what happened to him on 7 May 2011. This was a vicious attack, not a fight, as it has been frequently referred to.
“During the past, very difficult, year we have maintained our dignity and silence, putting out a statement at the time of our son’s death in a bid to reduce any racial tension in the community.
“During the trial, however, we have been disappointed by some of the headlines in the local media, which we feel have, at times, been misleading, as well as irresponsible and counter-productive to maintaining positive community relations.
“Jonathan made a spur-of-the-moment comment, but throughout the trial we felt he was made out to be a racist and at one point even called a bigot. This is totally untrue. Jonathan was never a racist in any way.
“Even if people believe he made a racist comment, nobody deserves to be attacked in the vicious way he was.
“We need this level of intolerable violence removed from our community so that no other family will be subjected to the heartache and pain we have endured.
“We feel the verdicts reached by the jury are the correct ones; however, no sentences can ever begin to make amends for our son’s death.”