In mitigation, defence counsel Jeffrey Samuels said: 'The punch itself was not capable of causing death and neither did it. It was the impact on the ground which caused death.Say what?
'That said we recognise that the harm caused is high at a time when the public is concerned about incidents of this nature in town centres at night.
'Whether that punch would have fell him (sic) if he was sober is a different matter. He and his party (sic) has taken in copious amounts of alcohol.'
Now, you can take this one of two ways, depending on whether you think the ‘Fail’ has garbled his words. Either it was the usual ‘the drink did it, he’s very nice when sober’ excuse, or he’s saying that the victim wouldn’t have fallen over unless he too was drunk…
Still, at least justice was done. Wasn’t it?
Passing sentence Judge Elgan Edwards told Cunningham: 'You were looking for trouble and then landed a blow on the unfortunate Neil MacDonald. Far from feeling guilty for what you had done you went off laughing.Sounds impressive.
'In my judgement you are dangerous and there is a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm being caused by you.'
But the reality is far from impressive:
He is expected to serve just half his sentence as he has already spent five months on remand and could be free as early as February 2012.*sigh*
Still, maybe the judges hands were tied, maybe he’s a first offender?
Cunningham had convictions for six other violent offences from street robberies as a youth, to affray, possession of a firearm and making threats to kill in 2000 for which he got seven years.Ah.
In 2008 he was given 17months in jail after he was convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend by dragging her and punching her to the floor.
So, how does the government plan to keep us safe?
Following his release from jail, Cunningham will be monitored until 2019.Well, that should do it…