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Last Updated: Friday, 5 March, 2004, 12:25 GMT
Jail for fatal 'unprovoked' punch
Yates' Wine Lodge, Newport
Mr Morris did not regain consciousness after being punched outside the pub
An ex-soldier has been jailed for killing a pub-goer with a single, unprovoked punch.

Former Welsh Guard Mark Hultberg, 31, was sentenced to four-and-half years at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday for killing John Morris, 45.

As a result of being punched, Mr Morris fell and fractured his skull when he hit the pavement outside Yates' Wine Lodge in Newport.

The factory worker from Cwmbran, died six days later in November 2003.

Huw Evans, prosecuting, told the court how trouble had originally flared between the two men's' brothers - John Hultberg's and Dale Morris.

Bouncers had ejected them both from the pub and the brothers followed them outside.

"John Hultberg head butted Dale Morris inside the pub for talking to his ex-girlfriend," Mr Evans explained.

It was a sly punch that was totally unprovoked. The blow was obviously a heavy one.
Huw Evans, prosecuting
"The incident continued outside. John Hultberg was still being aggressive. John Morris had his palms out in a submissive gesture saying they didn't want any trouble.

"But Mark Hultberg went up to him and delivered a left hook. It was a sly punch that was totally unprovoked. The blow was obviously a heavy one.

"It appears Mr Morris was unconscious before he hit the ground and as a consequence landed heavily hitting his head on the pavement."

Andrew Jones, defending, said: "This is a single isolated incident that gave rise to tragic consequences.

"Hultberg has served his country as a Welsh Guardsman and he left the regiment with an exemplary record.

"It was a misguided and misjudged moment of madness. It will last forever in the minds of all those connected with the case.

"It is something that will never leave him and he wishes he could turn back the clock."

Jailing him for four-and-a-half years, Judge Mr Justice Christopher Pitchford told Hultberg: "Without warning you delivered a powerful left hook which connected causing him to fall back like a felled tree.

"The effect of his death has been trauma to his family.

"His father died nine years ago and and he lived with his mother. He was her support, not just during the aftermath of her widowhood, but thereafter. Nothing I say or do today can bring back that wasted life."

John Hultberg, 33, of Newport, was jailed for 15 months for wounding Dale Morris.

Hultberg, a labourer from Newport, had admitted the charge of manslaughter.


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