An electrician who drunkenly killed a “kind and gentle” bank executive in a row over a mobile phone outside an Ivy restaurant in London will spend less than a year in jail.
Steven Allan, 34, was mistakenly convinced that Paul Mason, 52, the head of the Qatar National Bank, had stolen his friend’s mobile phone when he attacked him in West Street, Soho, in December 2020.
Mason was on his way home from dinner with a friend at The Ivy when was attacked by his attackerwho gave him three punches.
He fell backwards and hit his head on the ground. Despite being taken to the hospital, he never recovered from his injuries and died six months later.
Allan, a construction manager on a construction project, admitted to manslaughter but was acquitted of murder.
He was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison, but is likely to be released in less than a year, having spent time under curfew awaiting trial.
Judge Michael Topolski KC said: “I am well aware that the sentence I have just handed down will sound like nothing to [Mr Mason’s] family.
‘You have broken my family’
In a victim impact statement, Mason’s sister, Rachel Mason, said her brother, Simon, died of an overdose just three months after the tragedy.
She said: “You have broken my family forever. I am overwhelmed with feelings of shock, disbelief and hate towards you. How dare you take Paul’s life?
“I just can’t fathom someone doing this to another human being, especially someone they loved so much.”
The Old Bailey heard that Allan, from Hook in Hampshire, had been drinking with a friend in the West End on the day in question, but decided to stay out when his partner went elsewhere.
Paranoid for the well-being of his friend.
He became paranoid about his friend’s well-being and became convinced that his mobile phone had been stolen.
Tragically, Allan called his friend’s number at the exact moment Mr. Mason was walking by and received a call on his own phone.
In one incident captured on CCTV, Allan was seen approaching Mr Mason and demanding to know if it was his friend’s phone.
Mr. Mason attempted to walk away from the confrontation, but witnesses saw Allan deliver a series of punches, causing him to fall and hit his head on the ground.
Allan left the scene but turned himself in to police the next day, after seeing CCTV footage of himself circulating.