A teenager who killed a “kind and loving” 82-year-old Army veteran with a single punch has been sentenced to two years in a young offenders institution.
Omar Moumeche was 16 years old when he hit Dennis Clarke at Derby bus station on 6 May 2021.
The punch caused Mr Clarke to fall to the ground and fracture his skull, and he died in hospital nine days later.
Moumeche, now 18, was found guilty of manslaughter following a trial at Derby Crown Court and sentenced on Friday.
The court heard Mr Clarke had been surrounded by a group of three teenagers after he challenged them about their behaviour on an escalator at the Eagle Market.
He was then followed to the bus station, where he was attacked by Moumeche.
The court heard a victim impact statement from Mr Clarke’s family, which described how the former serviceman was a regular churchgoer and energetic family man.
It said: “There will forever be an empty chair at the Christmas table, a space on the dance floor.”
Judge Shaun Smith said he accepted psychological reports, which said the teenager had an emotional age of about 13 at the time.
He added: “This is a case of such sentencing difficulty that I feel nobody will be satisfied with what I do.”
The judge said he was satisfied that for much of the confrontation, Moumeche was a “disinterested onlooker”.
“It had nothing to do with you,” he said.
“You could have walked away, but you decided to get involved and… you struck him with a deliberate blow.”
The judge also noted Moumeche did not stay to offer help, but fled the scene – though he was arrested within minutes.
The judge said while Moumeche was a “young man prone to outbursts of anger”, he did not present a risk to the public.
The teenager had faced two trials after the original jury, in the summer of 2022, was unable to reach a verdict.
‘Posed no threat’
Andrew Baxter, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Dennis Clarke’s tragic death was the result of this young person’s intimidating and aggressive behaviour, refusing to back down and not knowing when to walk away.
“Mr Clarke was within his rights to challenge the behaviour and had then gone about his business, assuming that the incident was concluded.
“Moumeche chose to confront him at the bus station, behaving in an aggressive and intimidating way to a man in his 80s who posed no threat.
“He then threw a punch which led to the death of an elderly and innocent man, and a family grieving a much-loved family member and respected member of the community.”