BY TOBY PORTER
A man who got into a row with another outside a bookmakers has admitted manslaughter after kicking him so hard in the chest, as he lay on the ground, that his heart ruptured.
Joseph Otinkoran Ankrah, 31, pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Kingston Crown Court on Tuesday, October 16.
He was sentenced at the same court on Tuesday to seven years’ imprisonment.
Police were called by the London Ambulance Service shortly after 10.15pm on Thursday, April 19 after ambulance staff suspected that a 32-year-old man, found collapsed in London Road in Morden, had been assaulted.
Aaron Springett, who lived locally, was taken to a South London hospital in a critical condition. He died from his injuries the next day.
A post-mortem examination gave cause of death as hypoxic brain injury, cardiorespiratory arrest, rupture of the heart and blunt force trauma to the chest Ankrah had left the bookmakers and began arguing with Aaron, who he did not know, in the street shortly before 10pm.
They then began to wrestle outside before Ankrah slapped Aaron to the side of the face, which caused him to fall to the ground.
A bystander then intervened by standing between the two men and tried to get them to leave in opposite directions.
Aaron then stood back up and began shouting at Ankrah, who marched over to Aaron and pushed him in the chest, causing him to fall backwards.
Ankrah then kicked Aaron ‘like a footballer’ at least twice in the chest before he was dragged away by the bystander.
Aaron was kicked with such force that it ruptured his heart.
Aaron stood up and began to walk away before collapsing a short distance away.
Aaron’s sister Lucy Rowe said in a statement: “I cannot put into words the impact of losing Aaron has truly had on myself and my family. Words mean nothing.
On the evening of April 20 my whole world came crashing painfully down. My brother, my best friend and confidant was taken away as a result of a senseless act at the hands of another.
Losing a loved one at the best of times is hard, but for them to be taken in such a brutal way is just so hard to comprehend. “My brother was a lovable, bubbly and friendly person. He always put others before himself. He was a friend to many, a devoted family member to us all.
I will never be able to express in words the intense bond myself and Aaron shared from a very young age.
Until his passing, we saw each other almost every day but always spoke daily. “I miss everything about my brother. His warmth, humour and infectious smile. Nothing will ever change the profound loss we as a now fragmented family feel.”
Ankrah was arrested on Saturday, April 21 but answered ‘no comment’ to all questions put to him, apart from when he was shown a photo of the victim to which he replied ‘I don’t know him, no comment’.
Detective Inspector Will White, from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, who led the investigation, said: “Ankrah was unable to control his anger and he attacked Aaron.
Ankrah kicked Aaron with such force that it caused his heart to rupture and resulted in Aaron losing his life.
“I’m pleased that Ankrah recognised the weight of the evidence against him and chose to admit that his reckless actions resulted in Aaron’s death.
“I hope today’s conviction gives Aaron’s family some measure of comfort and closure in what has been an extremely distressing time for them.”