UK & World News

  • 13 December 2013, 7:33

Asda Car Park Row Death: Pensioner Jailed

Pensioner Alan Watts has been jailed for five years for killing grandfather Brian Holmes following a row in an Asda car park.

Mr Holmes, from Sandy, Bedfordshire, died from head injuries in hospital the day after the August 3 attack, which saw him punched in an argument over a disabled bay.

The 64-year-old had been given the all-clear following treatment for cancer days before he died.

Following the manslaughter verdict at Luton Crown Court, a family statement was read out, which said: "We are pleased that the trial is now over and that justice has been done.

"Brian was deprived of his life and our family have been deprived of a loving husband, father, step-father and granddad. Many more people have been deprived of a good and loyal friend.

"Brian was in every sense of the word a gentleman, a caring, loving man with no enemies and many friends, a man for whom caring was second nature and his wife and family his first priority."

Watts, 65, of Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, claiming self-defence.

Prosecutor Ann Evans told the court during her opening address that Watts goaded Mr Holmes after seeing his car was parked in a disabled space before setting on him in an unprovoked attack.

Mr Holmes had returned to the car without his wife Christine, who suffered rheumatoid arthritis, when Watts sarcastically shouted: "You look like you need a wheelchair."

Ms Evans said: "This is a case about how a moment of madness can change people's lives forever.

"The defendant, Alan Watts, in a show of extraordinary violence, lashed out at Brian Holmes at a car park in Asda and killed him with a punch to the head."

Ms Evans said CCTV footage, which she played to the jury, showed Watts punch Mr Holmes twice in a "right-left combination" before the victim dropped to the ground.

Watts then got back in his vehicle and drove away, she said.

Mrs Holmes sobbed as Ms Evans read her witness statement to the court. She left the supermarket and saw her husband's legs sticking out from behind a screen that had been set up by paramedics.

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