A man who killed his mother’s partner after knocking him to the ground with a single hit has today been jailed after being convicted of manslaughter.
Kurt Velardo caught Terry Bell with a ‘backhand’ during a brief argument in the garden of the home he shares with his mother and sister on Moriah Road, Treboeth, on November 11th last year.
During a trial at Swansea Crown Court, the jury heard Mr Bell, 49, had been friends with Velardo’s late father, and the 30-year-old refused to accept his mother’s relationship with him.
On the fateful day, the two crossed paths when Mr Bell arrived at the house as Velardo was leaving to visit his girlfriend.
Velardo ignored Mr Bell as he greeted him and continued to walk to his car, but returned to the address to confront him when he took issue with the way Mr Bell continued to talk to him.
After first grabbing Mr Bell by the lapels to “intimidate” him, Velardo then shoved him in to the window and again left. But he told the court he returned again when Mr Bell continued to “have a go”, and the exchange ended with him back-handing Mr Bell to the floor.
As the victim lay on the floor – with Velardo’s sister, an off-duty auxiliary nurse, administering first aid to him – Velardo left the scene and went to his girlfriend’s address.
Giving evidence during trial, he said he did so as he assumed the victim, who he described as drunk, was snoring on the floor.
Mr Bell was taken to Morriston Hospital with a bleed on the brain, and died three days later.
Kurt Velardo was today found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to three years.
Following the trial, Mr Bell’s sisters issued the following statement: “Our brother Terry was a fun, loving, kind-hearted man who, being the only boy in the family, we all looked up to.
“Words cannot express how much he is missed and we cannot believe that he is gone at just 49 years old.
“This trial wasn’t about seeking revenge or a prison sentence, but seeking the truth for Terry and ensuring people take responsibility for their actions.
“This was a tragic set of circumstances in which there are no winners; there was only ever going to be losers.
“We would like to thank everyone involved in this case. The emergency services who attended to Terry, especially those at the hospital, who were so kind to us when the decision was made to switch off Terry’s life support.
“We would also like to thank family and friends for all their support, along with officers from South Wales Police and the prosecution team who have all worked tirelessly to ensure Terry had a voice.”
Detective Sergeant Peter Collins, officer in the case, said: “Our thoughts are with everyone who knew and loved Terry Bell. His untimely death was senseless and while Kurt Velardo’s actions were not premeditated they have nonetheless cost an innocent man his life and completely destroyed two families.
“I hope today’s conviction brings some comfort to the family of Mr Bell, and that they can now begin to rebuild their lives without their much-loved brother.
“I also hope it serves as a stark reminder to the public that one punch or one impulsive action can have tragic and long-lasting consequences.”