LIVE: ‘We will never see his smile light up a room again’ - Heartbroken mum tells men jailed over death of her footballer son Jordan Sinnott

The men responsible for the manslaughter of footballer Jordan Sinnott are due to be sentenced this afternoon.

Friday, 31st July 2020, 3:52 pm

Reporter Tim Cunningham will be covering the hearing at Nottingham Crown Court from 2pm.

Jordan Sinnott, 25, was fatally injured after a confrontation that was "driven" by Kai Denovan, as he left The Vine pub in Retford, on January 25, Nottingham Crown Court has heard.

Denovan, 22, of Collins Walk, Retford, admitted common assault and affray while giving evidence, but was convicted of manslaughter by a jury earlier this week.

Jordan Sinnott

Cameron Matthews, 21, of Denman Close, Retford, had already pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Both men will be sentenced this afternoon, along with Sean Nicholson 22, of Beechways, Retford, who has admitted affray.

You can read more about the case here.

LIVE: ‘We will never see his smile light up a room again’ - Heartbroken mum tells men jailed over death of her footballer son Jordan Sinnott

Last updated: Friday, 31 July, 2020, 14:49

  • Jordan Sinnott, 25, was fatally injured after a confrontation as he left The Vine pub in Retford, Nottingham Crown Court has heard
  • The men responsible are due to be sentenced at court this afternoon
  • Our reporter Tim Cunningham will be bringing you live coverage of the case here 

You can read some background into the case here 

Men responsible for death of footballer Jordan Sinnott who was taken to hospital in Sheffield to be sentenced

The men responsible for the tragic death of a footballer who died after being attacked on a night out in Nottinghamshire are due to be sentenced today, and we will run a liveblog of the hearing from 2pm.

Welcome to the liveblog.

I'm covering the hearing at Nottingham Crown Court by video-link. 

A very moving tribute to Jordan by his childhood friend, and fellow football player, Josh Windass can be read here.

"We were joined at the hip": Sheffield Wednesday loanee Josh Windass opens up on friendship with Jordan Sinnott

Josh Windass remembers exactly where he was when he was told about the death of his childhood best friend Jordan Sinnott; receiving treatment at his home three days before a match against Sheffield Wednesday.

The three defendants have been brought into the courtroom.

Denovan, 22, of Collins Walk, Retford, admitted common assault and affray while giving evidence, but was convicted of manslaughter by a jury earlier this week.

Cameron Matthews, 21, of Denman Close, Retford, has already pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Sean Nicholson 22, of Beechways, Retford, has admitted affray.

Proceedings have started. 

Prosecutor Michael Auty said Jordan was a few days short of his 26th birthday and a talented footballer.

Jordan visited Retford with his girlfriend, her brother and another friend.

They enjoyed karaoke at the Turk's head before Jordan's girlfriend went home, and the three men went to the Vine pub after midnight. 

At 1.42 Kai Denovan said to Jordan: "I bet you don't have trouble pulling girls. I can't because I'm fat and ginger."

"Yes I can see that," Jordan said.

Denovan reacted angrily and punched him twice in the face.

Jordan's friend intervened and there was a short-lived scuffle.

Mr Auty is describing how Jordan Sinnott's group went to get something to eat, followed by the defendants.

More abuse was shouted after them.

Denovan and Matthews were followed by Nicholson, who claimed he was hanging back and pretending to talk on the phone.

Jordan had his hands out when the first blow was delivered by Denovan.

At that point Matthews took over and hit Jordan twice in the face.

The second blow put Jordan to the ground "virtually backwards" and struck his head on the floor.

"This caused skull fractures and brain damage from which he could never hope to recover," said Mr Auty. 

Denovan gave a statement to police.

Matthews denied being responsible for what happened to Jordan.

But he accepted a great deal of the prosecution's case.

Nicholson's account was very close to the prosecution's witnesses. 

"He was frank about his own involvement and admitted delivering two kicks," said Mr Auty.  

Denovan and Matthews have no previous convictions .

Matthews was banned from Doncaster Rovers football matches for five years.

Nicolson has two cautions. 

A statement from Jordan's father, Lee:

"It shouldn't have been his time to be away from those who loved him.

"He had the best years of his life taken from him."

Mr Sinnot describes the crushing "feeling of devastation" when he saw his son in hospital.

"Nothing can prepare you for the loss of your child," he said.

"They have condemned those who loved him to a life of grief and mourning.

"His life was not theirs to take." 

Jordan's mum is reading her statement in court:

"Jord, as I call him, was the youngest of my two sons.

"He had a bright future in front of him. He always put others first. He was brought up to respect others."

His brother Tom has been left devastated, she said.

She revealed that Jordan asked his girlfriend's dad for permission to marry her at Christmas.

She says she will "never forget the moment when she was told about the attack."

"All I could say was "Why would anyone hurt Jord?"

"Part of me died when they told me Jordan would not survive."

"Please don't leave me - I love you," she told him.

Looking at the defendants in the dock, Jordan's mum said: "This was the last time I would hear him.

"This is when you caused total devastation.

"Because of what you have done to Jord, I constantly have nightmares.

"He never had a fight in his life.

"I ask myself, do you all even care?

"I have trained hard to be a detective. I don't know when I will be able to do my job again.

"I will never get over the death of my lovely son.

“As a family we will never see his smile light up a room again.”

The court has heard a statement from Jordan's girlfriend.

"His heart was so full of kindness and love. He was so very special.

"He radiated positivity and brought out the best in people.

"The three years we had together were the best of my life.

"I would give anything to bring him back."

The week after Jordan's funeral she found out she was pregnant with his child.

"You have denied our unborn child the chance of meeting his father."

Michael Cane-Soothill, said Denovan was "heartbroken" by the impact on Jordan's family.

Judge John Burgess disagreed with his assessment of the seriousness of the offence and said Jordan was "vulnerable" when the fatal blow was struck.

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