Tributes paid to Ian Clitheroe but questions asked over his killer's sentencing

Ian Clitheroe died on February 3

Ian Clitheroe died on February 3 - Credit: Claire Fulcher

The partner of a man described as 'larger-than-life, generous and loving' has expressed her disappointment at the length of the prison sentence given to his killer.

Ian Clitheroe who was a very social person and well known around Huntingdon was enjoying a night out on the High Street before being confronted and punched by Jake McFarlane, 22. The punch caused him to fall to the ground.

Emergency services arrived at the scene and took Ian to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for treatment, but he died on February 3.

McFarlane was jailed for a total of three years and nine months, pleading guilty to manslaughter and also possession with intent to supply cocaine at a previous hearing. He received two years for Ian's manslaughter and 21 months for the drugs charge.

Ian's partner Claire Fulcher said: "Ian was a tax-paying, hard-working, non-violent man trying to have a night out with myself and a friend who lost his life due to one man's stupidity and is now gone forever, whereas Jake will be out of prison before he is 25."

"What message does this send? Punch and kill someone and serve only a year in prison? I don’t believe that Jake meant to kill Ian, but the strength and force of the punch was enough to break bones in Ian’s face and cause his death."

Born in Northampton, Ian had moved to Huntingdon almost 20 years ago after living in Wisbech since he was 10.

The assiduous Ian had proudly spent the last 10 years building his own commercial roofing and cladding business.

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Ian dreamt of owning an apartment in Lanzarote, which motivated him to set new career goals, and he was in the midst of taking several courses to qualify in security and close protection.

Ian was excited to be embarking on a new career running alongside the business he had built up before he was cruelly taken away.

Ian had never married or had children but helped raise Claire's daughter, Amy, as his own, and on the night of the attack, he was showing pictures of Amy, proud of the person she had become.

Detective Inspector Dale Mepstead said: “This case shows the tragic consequences just one punch can have.

“It is clear McFarlane didn’t intend to kill Mr Clitheroe, but his actions did just that.

“Every weekend in towns and cities across the country, police deal with alcohol-fuelled violence. I hope this case will make people think about their actions. Getting involved in violence can spiral out of control and have devastating consequences for all parties.”