THIS is the chilling moment footballer Jordan Sinnot was stalked by his “fat ginger” killer before receiving a deadly punch.
Former Huddersfield player Sinnott, 25, died in hospital after suffering a fractured skull and brain damage in an assault in the centre of Retford, Notts, at 2am on January 25.
Kai Denovan, 22, has now been found guilty of manslaughter in connection to Sinnott’s death.
Denovan followed Sinnott and his two friends into The Vine pub before telling him he was a “good-looking lad” and would have no trouble “pulling girls” – unlike him, who was “fat and ginger”.
“Yes I can see that,” Mr Sinnott replied, which the prosecution argued provoked the defendant’s behaviour.
Nottingham Crown Court heard Denovan’s comment was a “deliberate honey trap”.
Denovan then “flew immediately into a rage” after the footballer joined in with what he believed to be the defendant’s “self-deprecating humour”.
Nottinghamshire Police has released CCTV footage showing the final moments before the former FC Halifax Town footballer was fatally attacked.
The footage shows the footballer and two friends walking to Retford Market Place, followed by the two men convicted of his manslaughter and another man convicted of affray in connection with the incident.
Denovan had previously admitted common assault and affray while giving evidence, but denied manslaughter.
But today, a jury at Nottingham Crown Court unanimously convicted him of manslaughter.
Cameron Matthews, 21, pleaded guilty to manslaughter at a hearing on 6 July after CCTV showed him striking the Matlock Town player.
A third man, Sean Nicholson, 22, pleaded guilty to affray following Sinnott’s death at a hearing on 2 March. He was released on bail and will be sentenced now the case is complete.
Today, the court had heard how Denovan started a fight with the former Altrincham footballer and his friends at The Vine pub early on 25 January.
There was a disagreement, where Denovan punched Sinnott twice.
The two groups then went their separate ways, with Sinnott and his friends leaving the pub and heading towards Retford’s Market Place.
Denovan and Matthews also left the pub and walked towards the Market Place, with Nicholson following behind.
Once Matthews and Denovan caught up with Sinnott, Denovan again punched the footballer, before Matthews went on to punch him more than once, knocking him to the floor and causing fatal injuries.
Police were called to the scene as ambulance crews were attempting to treat the footballer after he was found unconscious following an incident at around 2am.
He tragically died in hospital just before 6pm on Saturday 25 January, surrounded by his family.
All three men will be sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday 31 July.
Detective Chief Inspector Rob Routledge, who led the investigation, said: “Jordan was a talented and loved young man who had many promising years ahead of him.
“Matthews’ and Denovan’s actions in the early hours of 25 January cruelly took that future away from Jordan and changed his family’s lives forever. The response to Jordan’s death showed just how much he meant to those who knew him.
“I have been astounded by the courage, strength and integrity of Jordan’s family and friends throughout. They have inspired us all during many the long hours of this large and complex investigation.
“Nottinghamshire Police was tireless in conducting this large and complex investigation, and we were determined to hold Matthews and Denovan responsible for their actions. This meticulous work, including speaking to dozens of witnesses and trawling through hours of CCTV, has led to them being brought to justice.
“Life will never be the same for Jordan’s family, but I hope they will get some comfort from justice being served.”