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The brother of a man who died when his friend punched him says he felt sorry for the killer when he saw him “broken” and apologetic in court.
Chris Frost, 31, died after hitting his head on the ground following a punch outside a Cambridge pub in August.
On Wednesday Dennis Hurworth was jailed for manslaughter and as he was led from the dock the father-of-one mouthed “I’m sorry” to Mr Frost’s family.
Luke Frost said: “One of the things my sister keeps saying is ‘nobody wins’.”
He said: “Seeing him mouth the words ‘I’m sorry’ and seeing him quite visibly broken, I and my sister said the same thing – I just felt sorry for him, because he’s got a son.”
Hurworth and Mr Frost had been “play fighting” while drinking at The Brook pub on 17 August before outside Hurworth became angry and hit his friend.
Mr Frost, from Lode in Cambridgeshire, “fell to the floor like a ruler” and died in hospital from a brain injury the next day.
Hurworth, of Nuns Way, Cambridge, had initially denied manslaughter but changed his plea and in a letter to the judge said: “More than anything else I wish I could bring him back, undo what I’d done and wish Chris’ family would forgive me.”
Mr Frost’s younger brother Luke, who travelled from his home in Barcelona for the sentencing, said he would be open to meeting his brother’s killer in the future.
“At the moment I’m angry with him, but I think the prospect of forgiveness is there,” he said.
“I do believe that for both our sakes, for him to absolve himself of what he did and for us to really move on, forgiveness is really important.”
He said that while in the hospital with Mr Frost waiting for his organs to be harvested – which he was “hugely proud” had saved lives – the family “thought a lot about Dennis”.
“I know people that have thrown a punch, people in our family have thrown a punch so you think ‘is it just a really, really terrible accident?’. Is he beside himself with regret and grief and thinking ‘my life is ruined’?
“I think it changed slightly, when he originally had the first chance to plead guilty, he didn’t and we saw him in court – you do start to build up an image and an idea of the person.
“It really wasn’t until the final moments where he pleaded guilty and had the letter, we all saw him and he did look broken, he looked remorseful and that can change your opinion quite quickly of somebody.”