Jail term extended for drug dealer who killed stranger with one punch

Jake McFarlane fled the scene after punching Ian Clitheroe on January 30.

Jake McFarlane fled the scene after punching Ian Clitheroe on January 30. - Credit: CAMBS POLICE

Jake McFarlane - who admitted killing a man outside a Huntingdon pub with a single punch - has had his prison term extended by the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal ruled on July 22 that McFarlane, who is now 23, should have his sentence increased from two years in prison to 44 months for manslaughter.

This is to run consecutively to the 21 months for possession with intent to supply cocaine, meaning a new total sentence of five years and five months.

The family and partner of his victim, Ian Clitheroe, who was aged 50 when he was killed by McFarlane, appealed to the Attorney General claiming the original sentence was "unduly lenient".

This was referred to the High Court by the Attorney General after she upheld the request and the High Court in London ruled to increase the sentence.

Speaking after the hearing, the Attorney General Rt Hon Suella Braverman QC MP said: “This is a shocking and deeply saddening case, and I wish to express my sympathies to the family of Ian Clitheroe.

“No sentence can reverse this tragedy or compensate for the damage caused by Jake McFarlane’s actions, but I welcome the decision of the Court to impose a sentence which more accurately reflects the gravity of the offending that has taken place.”

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McFarlane was drinking with friends in the Samuel Pepys pub, in High Street, Huntingdon, in the early hours of January 30 when the attack happened.

At about 1.30am McFarlane and one of his friends went to confront Mr Clitheroe who they believed was arguing with a woman outside the venue.

McFarlane punched Mr Clitheroe causing him to fall to the ground. He then left the area before emergency services arrived.

Police were called and officers began CPR on Mr Clitheroe before paramedics arrived and he was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, for treatment.

Later that day, at about 1pm, McFarlane was arrested at Huntingdon Train Station having purchased a single ticket to Norwich. When officers searched his luggage, they found 20 small packets of cocaine worth £710 and a set of digital scales with white powder residue on them.

Mr Clitheroe, of Loughrigg Close, Huntingdon, continued to receive hospital treatment but died on February 3.

On April 29 this year, McFarlane, of Bernard Close, Huntingdon, was jailed for three years and nine months having pleaded guilty to manslaughter and possession with intent to supply cocaine at a previous hearing.

Ian Clitheroe's family have described him as a "larger than life" character.

Ian Clitheroe's family have described him as a "larger than life" character. - Credit: CAMBS POLICE

Mr Clitheroe’s family have described him as a "larger than life character.

In a statement they said: "Ian was a generous, loving man with a heart of gold. It is difficult to put into words how his loss has affected all of those who knew and loved him.

"Our lives will never be the same again without Ian in it. The impact and tragic senseless manner of his death resonates with us every day. Ian will be remembered forever. Loved and missed always.”