Drunken brawler must stay in jail

William Lynch
William Lynch

A MAN whose attempt to punch his brother during a drunken brawl led to the death of his father-figure must serve every day of his jail term, top judges have ruled.

William Lynch, 42, of Moresby Close, Leigh, was caged for four years and three months after pleading guilty to manslaughter at Liverpool Crown Court on February 23.

Victim Derek Szostok lived in the same block of flats as Lynch and they were close friends. There was a ‘father and son’ style relationship between 62-year-old Mr Szostok and Lynch, Mr Justice Teare told London’s Criminal Court of Appeal today.

On August 25 last year, Lynch held an impromptu party in his flat during which he started arguing with his brother.

He became angry and threw a coffee table in the air and put his foot through a television screen.

Lynch then attacked his brother and the fight moved onto the landing at the top of the stairs.

Mr Szostok acted as peacemaker trying to separate the two men, the court heard.

But when Lynch swung a punch at his brother, he hit his close friend instead.

Mr Szostok fell backwards and banged his head and was left with a severe fracture to his neck.

There was a delay in calling the ambulance because everyone had been drinking at the party.

During surgery at the hospital, Mr Szostok suffered a stroke leaving him with irreversible brain damage. Life support was removed and he died on August 30.

Richard English, for Lynch, argued that his punishment was far too severe.

Mr Justice Teare accepted Lynch ‘didn’t intend to hit’ the victim and there was no animosity directed at him. However he intended to strike his brother and had been ‘aggressive and violent’.

Lynch, who had one previous conviction for spitting at a girlfriend, had shown remorse.

But the judge, sitting with Lord Justice Treacy and Judge Melbourne Inman QC, said the sentence was ‘not manifestly excessive’ and dismissed the appeal.