A City worker who fatally punched a friend after his shoe was thrown out of a taxi window has been jailed for three years.
Alexander Thomson broke down as details of the assault, described by the judge as “arising out of trivial, friendly horseplay”, were read out in court.
Members of 23-year-old victim Thomas Hulme’s family described how their lives have been “submerged in sadness and sorrow” since the incident in central London on 26 August last year.
The judge, Anthony Bate, said the blow, struck by Thomson as he leaned forward from his seated position behind Hulme in an Uber car after the victim had been dared to throw Thomson’s shoe out of the window, was an “isolated misuse of force whilst disinhibited by drink”.
The Old Bailey heard recruitment consultant Hulme, originally from Leeds, initially appeared to be fine and stepped out of the car to continue the argument with Thomson, but then collapsed on the pavement.
He died in hospital the following day having suffered a brain haemorrhage.
Sentencing Thomson, 33, from Clapham in south London, for manslaughter, the judge said the case differed from those “involving gratuitous unprovoked street violence”.
He said: “A talented and intelligent young man had a promising life snatched away from him in early adulthood after you lashed out at him in a moment of drunken hot temper.
“You must live with that responsibility”.
Thomson pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.