A man has been jailed for nine years at the Old Bailey for the manslaughter of a man in Watford last September.
Ridwaan Shaikh, 22, of Ilford, was sentenced after being found guilty of manslaughter on Wednesday, 17 May 2017, after a three-week trial. The jury found him not guilty of murder.
Bradley Cresswell, 21, from South Oxhey, suffered a fatal brain injury when he was assaulted in an unprovoked attack in the early hours of Sunday, 18 September 2016, in Watford town centre.
Jane Roberts, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said, “In the early hours of 18 September 2016, Bradley was with friends in the Hydeout nightclub in Watford when he encountered Ridwaan Shaikh. As the club was closing there was a confrontation between Bradley’s friends and Shaikh’s friends.
“Bradley became separated from his friends and met up with three other female friends outside the club. He was chatting with them in Bentine Lane when Shaikh walked passed. Shaikh then returned and, without warning, struck Bradley with a full-force punch, knocking him unconscious.
“Bradley regained consciousness, met up with his friends and while in the town another heated exchange took place between his friends and Shaikh’s friends. Not satisfied with the outcome of his first attack on Bradley, Shaikh, again unexpectedly, punched Bradley with extreme ferocity knocking him unconscious for a second time. Bradley never regained consciousness this time and died as a result of his injuries.
“On the afternoon following the incident, Shaikh made significant Google searches including ‘what happens if you knock someone out’ and ‘how long can you be unconscious for if you knock someone out’ indicating he was aware he had knocked Bradley unconscious after his first punch. He also tried to dispose of the shirt he was wearing at the time of the attack.
“In an attempt to justify his actions, Shaikh provided a prepared statement during his police interview claiming he had hit Bradley in self-defence, but this did not correspond with the CCTV evidence and the jury found him guilty of manslaughter despite his denials.
“This case represents a tragedy for Bradley’s family and friends who have been devastated by his untimely death. I would like to pay tribute to them and the witnesses for their wholehearted support of the investigation and prosecution.
“We have worked closely with the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit since this investigation was launched and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved. We know that nothing will bring Bradley back to his family and friends, but we hope that the conviction bring them at least a small sense that justice has been done. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time.”
Inspector Pushpa Guild from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said, “Shaikh was intent on exacting revenge on Bradley that morning following his interaction with Bradley in the nightclub.
“Neither were known to each other and Shaikh was not local to the Watford area. However, having knocked Bradley unconscious on the first occasion, he was determined to pursue Bradley and waited for an opportune moment before cowardly striking the fatal punch, which led to Bradley’s death and resulted in Shaikh being charged with murder.
“Following a three-week trial a jury of his peers has considered the evidence and found Shaikh guilty of manslaughter. I hope that Bradley’s family will draw some comfort from this outcome.”