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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 January, 2004, 15:08 GMT
Anger over nightclub death jail term
Alan Wilkins
Alan Wilkins was a very sporty and sometimes shy character
The parents of a man killed outside a nightclub have spoken of their outrage that his killer might be freed after just four months in prison.

Alan Wilkins, 34, of Reading, Berkshire, died of a single punch to the head during an assault outside the town's Mango Tropical Cafe in August 2002.

Businessman David Grad, 25, was convicted of manslaughter at Reading Crown Court in July 2003.

Grad's original sentence of two-and-a-half years in November 2003 was reduced to 18 months on the same day, and then lessened to nine months at a hearing last week.

If people can go about or go out to nightclubs and have drinks and it finishes up with someone dying, something is wrong
Alf Wilkins
Mr Wilkins had been leaving the nightclub with a female colleague when he was hit by Grad behind the left ear, rupturing a blood vessel near the brain.

Mr Wilkins had not been involved in the row that started the fight.

Now, Mr Wilkin's family said probation officers had told them Grad could be freed after serving four months of his sentence.

Alan's father, 72-year-old Alf Wilkins, said: "My gut reaction is that the judge and the appeal judges never gave a damn about my boy, his life was not worth anything according to them.

"If I told my friends he is only going to do four months, they would laugh at me and say 'what are you talking about?'.

'Deserves more punishment'

"If people can go about or go out to nightclubs and have drinks and it finishes up with someone dying, something is wrong.

"The law isn't strong enough.

"It is disgusting what has happened, the way they have treated us.

"I think the boy that was charged with it deserves to get more punishment."

Mr Wilkins mother, Sheila, 66, said her son was a very sporty and sometimes shy character.

"If it hadn't been such a serious punch, or a serious place where he hit him, I don't think Alan would have fought him back, he would have just walked away, I think.

"He wasn't a violent sort."


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