Three years for river boat killer
A BANKER who killed a Thames pleasure boat captain after being thrown off for drunkenly abusing passengers, took an overdose of pills on the eve of his sentencing hearing. Andrew Liddard, 29, punched 67-year-old Michael Micky Reed, from Barking, in the
A BANKER who killed a Thames pleasure boat captain after being thrown off for drunkenly abusing passengers, took an overdose of pills on the eve of his sentencing hearing.
Andrew Liddard, 29, punched 67-year-old Michael 'Micky' Reed, from Barking, in the face during a foul-mouthed rampage in front of shocked tourists.
Two of the horrified holidaymakers captured part of the incident on video camera as he was pinned to the ground 'foaming at the mouth'.
Liddard screamed 'I'm going to f***ing kill you' as the victim, the longest-serving captain on the Thames, suffered a heart attack and collapsed on the jetty.
After two trials at the Old Bailey, Liddard was last month convicted of manslaughter and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He had already admitted affray.
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After being treated for the overdose, Liddard was released from hospital, and appeared back in court on Friday where he was jailed for three years.
Wearing a black T-shirt, Liddard sipped water from a plastic cup and hung his head as his barrister John Hardy said: "If Andrew Liddard could turn back the clock, oh yes he would. But he cannot and now he is paying for what he did.
Judge Kramer sentenced Liddard to three years for manslaughter, 12 months for causing actual bodily harm, and nine months for affray. All sentences will be served concurrently.
The judge said: "It is no understatement to say the events of this case are a tragedy for all concerned, but nothing I can do today can turn the clock back neither for you or for the family and friends of Michael Reed.
"Your behaviour on the evening of Friday, June 2, 2007 was, as you admitted in evidence, disgusting.
"You were affected by your intake of lager. You were vulgar and abusive while you were on the top deck of the pleasure boat, but more importantly you were violent after you were told to leave.
"Your violence contributed significantly to the death of the much-loved and much-respected Michael Reed.
"He may have had a heart condition, he may have been 67- years-old, but the evidence was he was acting normally that day and was not at risk of collapsing and dying until you engaged in 40 to 45 seconds of mayhem on the pier.
"You were verbally aggressive and punched Mr Reed at least once causing him significant bruising to his cheek and as is only too clear on the CCTV you were out of control.
"You have always accepted morale responsibility for Mr Reed's death. It is a shame you could not accept you were a significant contributor to his death, for as a result you do not have the benefit of a guilty plea."
Liddard showed little emotion as he was sentenced.
Before he was led from the dock, the judge said he wanted the probation report and a psychiatric report to go with him to prison, adding: "I am concerned for the welfare of this defendant while he is serving his sentence."
He said he wanted the 'full weight' of the reports to be considered by the authorities 'to the concerns expressed' about Liddard's condition.
After the hearing, Det Insp Andrew Moore from the Serious Crime Command, said: "This has had a devastating effect not only on his family, but to all parties involved. Mr Reed was a highly respected man going about his lawful business, doing a job that he loved on the river. I hope this conviction will go some way in helping his family deal with their loss."
In a statement released after sentencing, the family of Mr Reed said: "We would like to thank family and friends for their love and support throughout this traumatic ordeal, along with the police.
"Our world was ripped apart and the foundation of our family and lives were taken from us when Dad went to work and never came home.
"He died doing a job that he loved, he was assaulted protecting his passengers and fellow crew members. He had so much more to do in life and so much more to give. His wisdom, his charm, his wit, his cheeky grin and his unconditional love we will miss forever.