manslaughter - Adam Lovatt and his wife, Clare (1)

The widow and mother of an Audlem dad killed by a single punch in the village have paid their tributes after his killer was found guilty of manslaughter.

Clare Lovatt, wife of Adam who died after being punched by Wybunbury man Samuel Thorpe, said his “senseless and tragic death has caused me so much trauma over the last 3 & 1/2 years”.

Thorpe, 26, of Annions Lane, was found guilty of manslaughter at a re-trial at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday.

Adam and Clare had been out celebrating his birthday on the night the incident happened in May 2018.

Clare said: “As a nurse I have only ever wanted to help people, as a mother I only ever wanted a good life for our boys and for them to grow in a nurturing, respectful environment.

“Adam’s love and support gave us all of this.

“Having Adam literally ‘ripped’ out of our lives and my future stolen is too much for anyone to bear.

“I am no longer the person I was whilst he was alive.

“Adam loved and married me because of my values in caring for others because we were both ‘Good’ people.

“Adam was a true family man, being a good husband and father were extremely important values to him as well as working hard and making an honest living.

“We enjoyed simple things like family meals – always cooked by Adam.

“He did lovely things for me like running a hot bath, putting out candles and having a meal cooked for me when I got in late from a shift. He made life better in every way.

“Hearing the tributes at Adam’s funeral enabled those there to see the true Adam.

“The way his boss spoke about how popular and respected he was in his management job at Booker Retail where he worked so hard.

“The way our sons spoke about the immensely positive impact he had on their lives.

“Both having challenging and misunderstood medical conditions, Adam was there every step of the way to encourage and support them.

“We worked hard, saved and moved to Audlem for our family to be part of what we thought would be a caring community.

“Adam and I gave so much to the community buying The Deli, being company directors and investing in the business, providing local employment and giving to local causes.

“All of this on top of our day jobs.

“Adam was my soul mate, the love of my life, and the one for me.

“My heart has been broken since the day I laid next to him on his bedside for the last time whilst on life support. I will forever be grateful for my darling husband, I love him always and forever.

“I feel that justice has finally been served. That the actions of the main defendant, the lies he told to cover up the truth and not taking any responsibility, have been exposed.

“The British Judicial system is extremely fair in that a Jury must decide.

“It is heartening that a Jury of good people like the majority of people in the country have found him guilty. This sets the right example for our younger generations.”

Adam Lovatt and his mum, Maria (1)

Adam and his mum, Maria

Adam’s mother Maria added: “The defendants and some of their friends have tried to portray our son Adam as a belligerent drunk that no one liked, so they could justify their long held grudge against him and their actions which resulted in a totally unprovoked and fatal attack on Adam.

“It was Adam’s 45th birthday and he was our youngest son, a brother, uncle and man with his own family.

“He was funny, loving and hard working in senior management and had also opened a delicatessen in Audlem, to be an integral part of this Cheshire village.

“Never did we envisage that when we wished him a happy birthday and joked with him that he was “pushing fifty”, that he would become a statistic belonging to that group of people that are killed by a single punch.

“Adam’s dad and I, along with the rest of his family thank the police and CPS lawyers for their tenacity.

“We are forever broken-hearted, but sadly Adam will probably not be the last to be killed in this way.”

Thorpe will be sentenced on November 26.

His co-defendant Nicolas Hill, 37, of Moorsfield Avenue, Audlem, was found not guilty of manslaughter but had already pleaded guilty to assisting an offender at an earlier hearing.

Hill will also be sentenced on November 26.

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