Saturday, October 27, 2012
A man who beat a father-to-be to death in front of his pregnant girlfriend at a Norwich restaurant five years ago has been sent back to prison after he breached his licence by visiting a city nightclub.
Jonathan Stonehouse was jailed for nine years for killing Richard Moore, 21, in front of his eight-month pregnant partner, Jemma Todd, in McDonald’s in Hay Hill in March 2007.
Stonehouse was released from prison earlier this year after serving half his sentence.
Under his licence Stonehouse was excluded from visiting anywhere within the inner ring road.
But Ms Todd’s mother came face to face with him at Chicago’s nightclub in the city’s Prince of Wales Road.
Richard Moore died from a blow to the neck in what was described in court as a “vicious attack” that continued as he slumped in his seat.
Gerard Stonehouse, then 48, and his son Jonathan, then 18, both of Woodcock Road, Norwich, were convicted of manslaughter in November 2007.
Judge Peter Jacobs sentenced Gerard Stonehouse to nine years in prison and Jonathan Stonehouse to nine years in a young offenders’ institution. He said they would have had shorter sentences if they had not chosen to “fight the case in the face of overwhelming evidence”.
The court heard the confrontation began when Mr Moore defended his girlfriend who had accused Jonathan Stonehouse of staring at her.
Norwich Crown Court heard the father and son continued to beat Mr Moore as he lay lifeless and dying.
Mr Moore, who was 5ft 8in tall and weighed eight stone, suffered 20 separate injuries in the attack.
One blow caused a tear in an underlying artery in the right-hand side of Mr Moore’s neck and he died from internal bleeding. He was pronounced dead at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on March 22, 2007.
The Stonehouses made no comment before issuing statements in which they claimed they had acted in self-defence.
She reported it to the police and probation service and Stonehouse was recalled to prison.
Ms Todd said Stonehouse’s father, Gerard Stonehouse, who was also jailed for nine years for killing Mr Moore, was released from prison earlier than his son on compassionate grounds and died in April.
The 23-year-old, who still lives in Norwich, said: “We knew they had both been released from prison but I was very surprised when my mother saw him at the nightclub.
“It was a bit of a shock – that lack of respect, really.
“When he was released he was only set a couple of rules to abide by, so you’d think it would not be that hard.
“But it feels now as if my partner never died and it never happened. It shows a lack of respect for my partner who is not here anymore.
“It has unsettled me and my mother. In reality, by being at Chicago’s he was only about five minutes away from where he did it.”
Ms Todd, who now has a new name, said she was constantly reminded of her partner’s death through their son Cameron who is now five and a half years old.
She added: “I think about him every day because every day I have to look after Cameron.”
She has since had a daughter but admits she had struggled with relationships.
“It’s been a hard five and a half years and we have been trying to settle down. It’s hard enough as it is, without this occurring.
“You would think Stonehouse would by now have realised what he did. But he has never apologised to me and he seems to be in a state of denial about it. He has never taken responsibility for what he did.”
She remains unsure whether Stonehouse’s recall to prison means he will now have to serve out the remaining half of his sentence or whether he will be trusted to be released on licence again.
“Whatever makes him a more respectful person is what I want,” she said.
A Norfolk & Suffolk Probation Trust spokesman said: “We cannot comment on individual cases.
“However whenever an offender is released on licence from prison, they are subject to probation supervision until the conclusion of their sentence.
“They must abide by a set of rules called licence conditions which may restrict their movements or activities. If the offender breaks any of the conditions of their licence, they can be recalled to prison.
“For all offenders convicted of serious offences, probation works with other agencies to ensure that the relevant parties are kept informed and share information as appropriate.”