‘Punch destroyed our life completely’

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The family of a man killed by a single punch in the car park at Biggleswade’s Asda have spoken of their loss in a TV documentary.

Brian Holmes, aged 64 was killed in August 2013 in a row over a disabled parking space in the car park.

Brian’s wife Christine is a disabled blue badge holder and entitled to park in the restricted area.

But Alan Watts, aged 65, who claimed he was trying to find a spot near the store for his wife who had a bad knee, only saw Brian.

After abusing Brian for having no right to park there, he got out of his car as Brian was walking away, and hit him. Watts was found guilty of manslaughter.

In the documentary ‘Cutting Edge: One Killer Punch’, Christine Holmes said: “He has destroyed our lives completely and then he tried to get away with it.

“It’s unbelievable Brian has lost his life because I parked in a disabled space.”

Christine’s daughter Dawn, who brought the couple together, said: “I couldn’t understand anyone wanting to punch Brian. He was calm and unassuming and a real gentleman.”

Christine and Brian, from Sandy, had gone into the town to buy shorts.

Dawn said: “Christine had expected him to join her in Asda but when she completed her own shopping and came out she found police near to her car and a blanket protecting Brian who was lying on the floor.

“He died later in hospital.

Watts had driven away after the incident but witnesses had noted his registration number. He claimed Brian had been aggressive and he was only defending himself.

Sentencing Watts to five years jail, Judge Michael Kay, QC, at Luton Crown Court said it was a case of manslaughter “akin to road rage”, adding: “You didn’t wait to see what you could do to help. That would have been the actions of a humane and remorseful individual.”

Detective Superintendent Liz Mead was the senior investigating officer in the case.

She said: “This was an utterly tragic and completely preventable incident.

“It was a big decision for Brian’s family to choose to take part in the documentary but they wanted Brian’s voice to be heard, and importantly they wanted to show others how just one moment of madness can ruin so many lives.

“No incident is worth losing your liberty over and what is especially tragic about this case is it was over someone’s belief about rights to parking.

“I hope everyone who sees the documentary will see how important it is to take a step back, stop and think instead of resorting to potentially deadly violence.”

The documentary aired on Tuesday on Channel 4 but can now be seen on All4.