The two killers of Lee Molineau from Eastbourne in July of last year are starting prison sentences which could see them freed in as little as two years after being sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on 22 April 2014
Rossi Henderson, 25. of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to five and half years in prison.
Hayley Whittaker, 23, of Honeycrag Lane, Polegate, also pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Also appearing in court was Ruby Heard, 26, of Lexden Drive, Seaford, who pleaded guilty to affray. She was sentenced to eight months in prison but was released because of time on remand awaiting trial.
Lee, 46,suffered a serious head injury following an argument between him and the two women in Seaside Road, Eastbourne, during which Henderson intervened and punched the victim to the ground. He died seven days later in Hurstwood Park hospital, Haywards Heath.
Det. Supt. Ian Pollard of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, who led the investigation, said; “On a busy street that evening a chance encounter between people hardly known to each other led to an alcohol-fuelled petty argument, which in turn escalated into unwarranted acts of violence, and tragically culminated in an innocent man losing his life.
“Lee was sitting in the street and had been drinking but causing no trouble whatsoever when Whittaker and Heard, who had both been drinking all evening, came by and for no known reason starting shouting at Lee and an argument erupted between the three of them.
“Whittaker decided to call for support from a party at a flat overlooking the scene and Henderson, who was there and did not know either of the women, but who had a very brief altercation with Lee in the street earlier that night, took it upon himself to rush straight outside. Although initially representing himself as the peacemaker, he then without any warning punched Lee straight in the face.
“Lee fell straight down and his head hit the pavement or wall, breaking his skull and causing injuries from which he tragically never recovered.
Fists raised in triumph
“Not content with this Whittaker then kicked Lee as hard as she could. Henderson then raised his fists in apparent triumph and all three fled the scene. However our enquiries resulted in their arrests and in their being brought to justice for their appalling behaviour which led to the death of an innocent and inoffensive man.”
In a statement Lee’s sister-in-law Kay Perkins, said; “We would like to thank everyone who have supported us over the last 8 months, especially Det.Cons. Jo Barber. We couldn’t have got through this without her support. Although it will not bring Lee back we feel that justice has been done. We can now try to move on and rebuild our lives.”