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Home   Sittingbourne   News   Article

Pensioner Alan Watts jailed for killing Sittingbourne man Brian Holmes after row over disabled parking space at Asda in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire

13 December 2013
by KentOnline reporter

Killer Alan Watts was jailed for five years

Killer Alan Watts was jailed for five years

A pensioner who punched a Sittingbourne man twice in a "moment of madness" after a row over a disabled parking bay has been jailed for five years over his death.

Builder Alan Watts, 65, clashed with 64-year-old grandfather Brian Holmes at a branch of Asda in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire.

Watts believed Mr Holmes - who had been given the all clear from cancer just days earlier - was using the disabled bay illegally.

But the trial heard Mr Holmes' wife Christine - with whom he lived in Recreation Way, Kemsley, until last year - was a blue badge holder and was shopping in the store.

The argument boiled over and Watts punched Mr Holmes twice in the face and he died later in hospital from a head injury on Sunday, August 4.

Watts denied manslaughter and maintained throughout his trial he had acted in self defence.

But after the jury were shown CCTV of the attack, he was found guilty at Luton Crown Court.

Judge Michael Kay sentenced Watts, from Biggleswade, to five years behind bars.

Speaking after the sentence Mr Holmes' family, paid tribute to the "gentleman".

In a statement, they said: "We are pleased that the trial is now over, that justice has been done.

"Brian was deprived of his life and our family has been deprived of a loving husband, father, step-father and granddad.

"Many more people have been deprived of a good and loyal friend."

Brian Holmes, pictured with his wife Christine, died after a row about a disabled parking space

Brian Holmes, pictured with his wife Christine, died after a row about a disabled parking space

It added: "Brian was in every sense of the word, a gentleman. A kind, caring, loving man with no enemies and many friends.

"A man for whom caring was second nature and his wife and family his first priority.

"Brian was in every sense of the word, a gentleman. A kind, caring, loving man with no enemies and many friends..." - family statement

"We would as a family like to thank the investigation team, the prosecutors and the court for the kind and sensitive way they have dealt with Brian's death and we would now ask that we are left in peace to begin to rebuild our lives."

DI Liz Mead, from Bedfordshire Police, said the sentence is a "sharp and timely reminder for people to think before they act"

She said: "Watts' actions mean he will now lose his liberty and be separated from his family.

"But our thoughts are focused on Brian's family who have remained dignified throughout this harrowing process of putting the life of a very private man into the public arena through no fault of his own.

"They as a family should be celebrating a Christmas and looking forward to 2014 without the shackles of cancer, but instead they have an empty place which cannot be filled by the tragic and unnecessary death of Brian, a loving husband, best friend, carer, father, grandfather and a gentleman."

Brian and Christine Holmes lived in Kemsley

Brian and Christine Holmes lived in Kemsley

Mr Holmes was a full time carer for his wife Christine, who is now being supported by relatives.

The pair lived in Kemsley until he and his wife moved to Sandy, Bedfordshire, last year.

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