Three men jailed after tragic death of footballer Jordan Sinnott

Three men have been jailed over the death of a footballer killed in an attack.

By Tim Cunningham
Friday, 31st July 2020, 5:01 pm

Jordan Sinnott, 25, was fatally injured after a confrontation that was "driven" by Kai Denovan, as he left The Vine pub in Retford, on January 25, Nottingham Crown Court has heard.

Denovan, 22, of Collins Walk, Retford, admitted common assault and affray while giving evidence, but was convicted of manslaughter by a jury and received 11 years, on Friday.

Cameron Matthews, 21, of Denman Close, Retford, had already pleaded guilty to manslaughter, and was sentenced to eight years and three months.

Jordan Sinnott.

Sean Nicholson 22, of Beechways, Retford, who admitted affray, received 14 months.

The court heard Denovan complained to the Matlock Town player he was a "good looking lad" whereas he was "fat and ginger" and Mr Sinnott agreed, believing he was joining in a joke.

But Denovan, who was drunk, punched him. After a scuffle Mr Sinnott and his two friends left the pub and shortly after, so did Denovan and his two friends.

Outside Denovan began to shout abuse at Mr Sinnott's group, who stopped, the jury was told.

Kai Denovan

They also heard Mr Sinnott put his hands out in what the prosecution described as a "gesture of peace" but Denovan went to punch him.

He was pushed off by one of Mr Sinnott's friends and then Matthews hit him more than once and he fell backwards, hitting his head on the pavement.

Mr Sinnott was taken to hospital in Sheffield but died the same day of brain injuries.

During his trial, the defence accepted Denovan's behaviour was "shameful, angering and stupid" but argued it was not manslaughter, as Matthews acted independently.

Cameron Matthews

Prosecutor Michael Auty QC said: "This was a joint assault from first to last. If Denovan hadn't driven it... then this dreadful tragedy would not have occurred."

In the courtroom on Friday, Jordan's mum told the defendants: "As a family we will never see his smile light up a room again."

His girlfriend, who discovered she was pregnant after Mr Sinnott’s funeral, said they had “denied our unborn child the chance of meeting his father."

Michael Cane-Soothill said Denovan was "heartbroken" by the impact on Mr Sinnott’s family and urged the judge to impose the shortest sentence possible.

Peter Joyce QC, said Matthews was a "perfectly ordinary, hardworking, obedient boy who was just 21 at the time,” and who was “dragged along on the wave of what was happening."

He said Matthews deserved "very great credit" for his early guilty plea and his remorse.

Stuart Lody said Nicholson was a "decent young man who bitterly regrets what happened that night" and who acted "out of character."

Judge John Burgess said Mr Sinnott’s death was “the result of a drunken violent reaction to a misplaced, or misinterpreted joke.”

"His death has been described as a tragedy, and of course that it is exactly what it is,” he said. “A mother and father have lost a son. Kelly Bossons has lost a partner and the father of her child. Her unborn child has lost its father.

“Many have lost a talented, bright, caring and inspirational young friend.”

Read the latest cases from Sheffield Crown Court here.

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