A THUG who killed a man by punching him in the face has been jailed.
Michael Hannan attacked James O’Hara during a chance encounter on Gisburn Road, Barrowford on October 19, 2021.
Hannan punched Mr O’Hara so hard he caused fractures to his eye socket and nose and made him fall back and strike his head on the footpath, resulting in further fractures to his skull.
Mr O’Hara, 45, was taken to hospital and treated for his injuries and released. However, his condition deteriorated, and he sadly died because of acute bacterial meningitis which developed as a direct consequence of the head injuries inflicted on October 19.
He did not know his attacker and was merely walking past Hannan holding a carrier bag containing an LP he had recently bought from a nearby charity shop.
Following the assault Hannan ran off leaving Mr O’Hara unconscious on the floor. Less than two hours later he sent a photograph to friends of himself bare-chested, flexing his muscles. He sent other messages boasting of what he had done.
Michael Hannan (3/8/90), of Tynwald Road, Blackburn, admitted manslaughter on the first day of his trial at Preston Crown Court on Monday (April 24) and was sentenced today (Thursday, April 27) to five years and four months.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Haworth-Oates, of the Force Major Investigation Team, said: “My thoughts today are first and foremost with the family and loved ones of James O’Hara. They have lost a family member and friend as a result of a needless, unprovoked and vicious assault.
“James O ‘Hara posed no threat whatsoever to Michael Hannan who punched him with such force that he inflicted the injuries that would sadly lead to his death. He then went on to disgracefully revel in what he had done and showed no remorse and only accepted his guilt on the day of his trial.”
In a statement Mr O Hara’s family said: “Tuesday 19 October 2021 was the day that a single act of violence by Michael Hannan devastated the lives of our whole family. Today he was sentenced to five years in prison which gives us some sort of closure, but we will be forever broken hearted at the cruel and needless way we lost James.
“We would like to thank the Police team for their tireless work over the past eighteen months in bringing this case to court.
“Thank you also to friends and family whose love and support have helped us through the darkest of days.
“One thing we can all hold on to is that Jay will never be forgotten because he left us all so much to remember. We will carry those memories in our hearts forever.”