Teenager killed disabled man with one vicious punch

PUBLISHED: 15:13 11 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:17 25 August 2010

A TEENAGER who killed a disabled gay man with a single punch after branding him a faggot and a queer was jailed for just 30 months

A TEENAGER who killed a disabled gay man with a single punch after branding him 'a faggot' and 'a queer' was jailed for just 30 months.

David Smith, 20, confronted 61 year-old Ronald Dixon after seeing his partner kiss him on the cheek, the Old Bailey heard.

He punched Mr Dixon to the ground and drove off, leaving the victim dying in the middle of the road.

Mr Dixon suffered brain damage and a fractured cheekbone and died two days later in hospital.

The Common Serjeant of London, Judge Brian Barker QC told Smith: "This was a gratuitous and wholly unjust piece of violence with disagreeable behaviour before and precious little concern afterwards."

The court heard Mr Dixon, who had suffered a stroke, was separated from his wife and had met his partner only a few weeks earlier.

On May 20 last year they were walking along the pavement below a block of flats in Wellington Gardens, Charlton, when Smith's group of friends asked them to throw up a child's plastic ball.

When the pair refused the two men and two girls began shouting abuse including "You are ruining our country" and "Come up here, I'm going to f*** you up."

Mr Dixon answered back and water and eggs were thrown at him.

His partner gave him a peck on the cheek and left, fearing trouble, but the victim remained at a bus stop talking on his phone to a friend.

Smith, then 19, and his friends came down into the road and walked towards Mr Dixon.

Without provocation Smith punched him hard in the face.

Mr Dixon, who lived in nearby Wellington Mansions, had a pacemaker and was on medication at the time of the attack.

Paramedics at first thought he had been knocked down by a car.

Smith was traced to his home and tried to escape police by climbing out a window but was arrested in his boxer shorts cowering under a dust sheet in a shed five houses away.

When told he was being arrested for attempted murder he said: "How? Holy cr*p."

In interview he claimed he hit the victim in self defence but in court he admitted manslaughter.

Smith, of Margaret Road, Bexley, has a previous conviction for burglary on March 27, 2007.

He was given a referral order for 12 months and ordered to pay £50 compensation.

Michael Borelli, QC, defending, said the incident had been a 'second of madness' and there was no homophobic motive.

Smith has a family friend who is gay and he has never known the killer to be homophobic, the QC said.

The judge said: "On reflection I do not now treat this as a homophobic attack. But what ever you say or do of whatever the court say or do nothing can make up for the loss of Mr Dixon's life.

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