Student,16, admits killing Nelson great-grandfather

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Lukas Karpavicius Lukas Karpavicius

A TEENAGE boy has admitted killing a popular former Pendle Council worker in a single-punch attack.

Lukas Karpavicius, 16, was told he faced a ‘significant’ jail sentence after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of 63-year-old great-grandfather David Hutchinson.

The ex-binman, known as ‘Scrapyard Dave’, died almost three weeks after he suffered a single punch to the jaw near his home in Nelson.

Karpavicius, a Nelson and Colne College student from Oxford Road, Nelson, admitted manslaughter at the earliest opportunity during a pre-trial hearing in Preston Crown Court yesterday.

Anti-violence campaigner Pat Rodgers, whose son Adam was killed after suffering a single punch to the head in July 2010, has condemned the attack.

Mr Hutchinson was placed in an induced coma after the incident, which happened near the junction of Leeds Road and Barkerhouse Road, Nelson, on June 15 last year.

He died on July 4 having suffered severe face and head injuries.

The court heard how the teenager, who moved to Britain from Lithuania at the age of eight, had left a party at around 10pm, where he had consumed ‘a significant amount of alcohol for him’.

Karpavicius punched Mr Hutchinson once, causing a fracture to the mandible, the court was told. That single blow caused Mr Hutchinson to fall to the pavement, resulting in several more fractures.

Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, said: “This was an attack on a man who must have appeared vulnerable – an alcoholic.

“It was an unprovoked attack, striking him very hard to the face, causing him to fall to the pavement.”

Urging His Honour Judge Stuart Baker to refuse bail, Mr Grout-Smith added: “A custodial sentence is inevitable. It may be as well for the defendent to start it today. This is a serious offence.”

Nicola Gatto, defending, said Karpavicius, who lives at home with his parents, was ‘of previous good character’.

She said: “Since the incident happened this young man has barely left the house. A very tight rein has been kept on him. His family are under no illusions he faces a significant custodial sentence.”

Refusing bail, Judge Baker said: “He was on bail on the presumption that he was innocent. The circumstances have now changed.

“He has pleaded guilty to an offence of manslaughter. It is an extremely grave offence, an unprovoked attack upon a man, resulting in the wholly unnecessary injury to the victim, resulting in his death.”

Karpavicius, dressed in a tracksuit, displayed no emotion throughout the hearing and spoke only to confirm his name and plead guilty.

His family wept in the public gallery as Judge Baker explained he would be sentenced in February, pending reports by the probation service.

Mrs Rogers launched the Every Action Has Consequences campaign with the Lancashire Telegraph after her son Adam, who coached Padiham Ladies' football team, was killed following a single punch to the head in July 2010.

She said: “People don’t realise what a powerful weapon fists can be. It happens much more than people realise. Often it results in the head hitting a curb or pavement.

“It’s so life-changing for the people it happens to.”

Mr Hutchinson, of Leeds Road, worked for Pendle Council for 18 years before he retired in 2009.

Originally from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, he is survived by his four brothers, two sisters, two half-sisters, three daughters, 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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