A MAN will spend three years behind bars after he was convicted of manslaughter.

Sonny Hazell, 25, has been jailed for causing the death of Daryl Bunn during a fight outside the Iceland supermarket in Maldon High Street on June 29, 2019.

During the altercation, Hazell punched Mr Bunn, who fell backwards and hit his head on the ground.

He was airlifted to hospital but died as a result of suffering a traumatic brain injury.

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A friend of Mr Bunn's also suffered a fractured jaw during the fight.

Hazell was later charged with manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

He denied both charges but was convicted of manslaughter by a jury during a trial in November last year.

The jury acquitted him of of causing GBH.

Hazell, of Kings Road, Southminster, was sentenced to three years in prison when appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday.

In a statement following the sentencing, Mr Bunn's family said: “Three years will never be enough in our eyes for our Daryl, but justice has been done and that was what we promised him and now we can finally grieve.

“We would like to thank Essex Police, not just for all the hard work on the investigation but also for all the support they have given us, Hannah and our extended family.

“We would also like to thank the jury for coming to the right decision.

“Finally we would like to thank our family and friends for their continued support and love throughout this horrific time.”

Senior investigating officer Det Chief Insp Lee Morton added: “This is a tragic case where Daryl Bunn lost his life because of the reckless actions of Sonny Hazell.

“Hazell will have had time to contemplate how catastrophic the events of that night were.

“The jury found him guilty of manslaughter, despite him pleading not guilty to his actions on the night, and this brings an end to this trial for him.

“However, this is the beginning of a future without Daryl for his fiancé, family and friends.

“They have remained dignified throughout this incredibly difficult time and I want to thank them for their support throughout our investigation and the court case.”

Another man, Jordan Hooper, 24, of Princes Avenue, Southminster, was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent in connection with the assault.

He denied the charge and stood trial at Chelmsford Crown Court in November 2020 where he was acquitted of causing GBH in relation to Mr Bunn’s friend.

A third man arrested – a then 23-year-old man from Maldon – was arrested but released without charge.

During Hazell's trial, the jury was told Mr Bunn and his friend had met up on the afternoon of June 29, 2019, to discuss their best man speeches for an upcoming wedding.

They later met their other friends at the Oakhouse pub and the Blue Boar in the High Street.

Mr Bunn and his friend left together between 8pm and 8.30pm to head back home which is when they became involved in the fateful altercation which led to Mr Bunn's death.