Mum tells court how one punch tore a family apart

THE family of former Mangotsfield United footballer Scott Hendy have told a court how their lives have been “torn apart” by his death.

Statements from Scott’s mother and one of his children were read to Bristol Crown Court before his killer, George Baylis, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison on May 29.

Baylis, aged 30, threw a single punch that knocked Scott to the ground during an altercation in a pub car park in the early hours of March 2.

Father-of-three Scott suffered a head injury and died the following day in Southmead Hospital. He was 46.

Baylis admitted a manslaughter charge in April.

In her statement, Scott’s mother Jennifer Hendy described the impact his death has had on the family.

She said: “Not a day that goes by where we don’t think about Scott.

“He was the kindest, loveliest character and all-round amazing son. His personality was infectious and was always one for being the joker.

“His sense of humour was legendary, and his loss will be felt from all over Bristol, such was the reach of his infectious personality.

“This is a horrendous situation we find ourselves in, and our lives will never be the same.

“We know this would never have happened if Scott wasn’t punched.

“However, we understand this has probably ruined the offender’s life as well – if anything we feel sorry for him and his family. We don’t have any hatred towards him; we accept he probably didn’t mean to kill our son.

“However, we are now left feeling our entire life has been torn apart, and don’t think we will ever come to terms with living our lives without him.”

Scott’s eldest son Lewis said his dad was the “heart and soul of the family” and was “idolised” by his children.

He said: “One of the hardest things to accept is that I can no longer reach out to Dad.

“There will be no more phone calls to ask for his advice, no more texts to share a quick joke, no more chats about work or life.

“I still pick up the phone to call or message him, eager to share something funny that’s just happened. Then reality kicks in and I get that sinking feeling again, because he’s no longer there.

“It feels like I’ve lost my compass, my guide, and the person I could always turn to when I needed help.

“There are events that have not yet happened that I know will be incredibly bittersweet, such as the birth of my first child and my wedding: this also applies to Harvey and Holly.

“Dad will never get the opportunity to become a grandparent, to walk Holly down the aisle and to show us all up with his dance moves at our weddings.”

The court heard Baylis punched Scott once in the car park of the Kings Arms pub, in Redwick Road, Pilning, at around 12.10am on March 2.

Police were called and spoke to witnesses, before arresting Baylis, who lived in the same road, about half an hour later.

A police spokesperson said: “He broke down in front of officers and apologised for what happened, adding he did not want to hurt anyone.

“During police interview he admitted to punching Mr Hendy.”

The court heard Baylis would serve at least half of the sentence.

After Scott’s death was announced, tributes were paid by former teammates and the clubs he played for, which also included Clevedon Town, Yate Town and Bath City.

Mangotsfield United, where he made almost 400 appearances, said: “More than just a great player, he was a great person and was well thought of by fans, managers and teammates alike.” 

Friend and former team-mate Geraint Bater, who played alongside him at both Mangotsfield and Clevedon Town, said: “Scott was loved by everyone who met him; he was funny, genuine and the life and soul of any party.”

Up to 700 people attended his funeral, and a charity match he was due to play in at Mangotsfield United’s ground in March became a memorial event, attended by around 900 people and raising more than £5,000 to support his family.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Almond, of the police major crime investigation team, said: “Scott Hendy was clearly a very popular man and our sympathies are with his loved ones at the conclusion of these legal proceedings.

“George Baylis has shown remorse for what occurred throughout the course of enquiries, and also pleaded guilty early on to manslaughter.

“While there is no evidence of any intent on his part to cause the fatal injuries he did, this case highlights the tragic reality that one punch can kill.

“In that split second he lashed out, he unintentionally took Scott’s life and now has received a prison sentence.”