A man who killed another man after punching him outside a pub has been jailed for eight years.
Iain Lee, pictured above, suffered critical head injuries after he was punched to the ground in the early hours of September 8 last year.
The 31-year-old had been socialising with a friend at The Roundhouse pub in Newton Aycliffe when he was punched to the ground by Nathan Buckland, who then struck him again while he lay on the road.
Iain was taken to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, where he sadly died from his injuries 11 days later. His organs have since been donated for transplant to help others.
Buckland, 25, of Lumley Close, Newton Aycliffe, denied murder but was found guilty of manslaughter following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.
Iain’s family have described him as “their best friend” and said that “nobody will ever replace him.”
Detective Superintendent Victoria Fuller, who led the investigation, said: “This was an extremely tragic incident in which there are no winners.
“In just a few seconds, Buckland took Iain away from his family and the people who loved him the most, changing their lives forever.
“I can only hope that today’s result provides some solace to Iain’s family, who have supported the police investigation throughout, and that they feel justice has been served.
“Using violence on nights out can have catastrophic consequences and, as this case has shown, it only takes a few blows to ruin two lives – one loses their life while the other rightly loses their freedom.
“We’d urge people to enjoy their time socialising, but we want them to return home safe. Please, if you ever find yourself potentially becoming involved in violence on a night out, think twice of how tragic your actions could be and just walk away.”