Men Who Lied About Karl Swift's Killer Are Jailed

Two men who covered up for the killer of Karl Swift in Halesowen have been sent to prison.

33-year-old Swift was knocked unconscious by a punch thrown by Dean Hartley and sustained a badly fractured skull as his head hit the pavement.

The two men had been with four other colleagues in the William Shenstone pub but they were ejected because of their rowdy behaviour. Mr Swift left on his own but he was punched by 30 year old Hartley on his way to the Travelodge where they were all staying while they worked in the area.

Hartley, who lives in the Sheffield area, had denied manslaughter but he was found guilty by a jury at the end of his trial and jailed for eight years and three months.

Dean Hartley Snr, his 52-year-old father, and 30-year-old Lee Ardron had maintained they came across Mr Swift in New Road and they felt he suffered his injuries when he fell.

The two men, both from Sheffield, admitted intending to pervert the course of justice with Hartley Snr being locked up for eight months while Ardron was jailed for six months.

Judge James Burbidge QC said he had an "inkling" the two men had witnessed the punch but he stressed he could not be sure about just what happened. He told Hartley Snr:

"As a father trying to cover for his son one can understand the difficulty you have faced to a degree but you of course should have told the truth.

"There must have been some discussion as you all ran the same line to police."

It was an offence, he went on, that undermined the justice system. "That was your intention - to seek to avoid justice on Hartley Jnr."

Anne-Marie Hutton, defending Hartley Snr, said the lie was ill-thought out in the heat of the moment while Chris Aspinall, for Ardron, said he had been "stuck between a rock and a hard place" in his belief that Hartley Jnr had not intended to cause any real injury.


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