A Whitley Bay man has been found guilty of manslaughter after assaulting his boyfriend and leaving him for more than an hour before calling for help.
Jonathan Armstrong, 43, had been in a relationship with Dean Bowe, 32, for a year before the fatal incident on September 7, 2016.
The couple had been drinking heavily in the flat they shared in South Parade, Whitley Bay, when the assault occurred.
Mr Bowe was left unconscious on the floor of the flat for more than an hour before Armstrong attempted to obtain medical assistance.
Paramedics arrived at the address and found Mr Bowe’s body covered in bruises and with a significant head injury.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that the pair had regularly fought during the course of their relationship, but paramedics were shocked when Armstrong told them his partner had been unconscious for more than an hour before he called for help. Mr Bowe was taken to hospital, but despite medical intervention could not be saved.
Armstrong was charged with manslaughter and during his trial this week he denied that he had assaulted his partner causing his death. But a jury agreed that his partner had died as a result of violence and found the defendant guilty this morning.
Following the conviction, senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Lisa Theaker paid tribute to Mr Bowe’s family.
She said: “I know that this will have been an extremely difficult six months for the family of Dean Bowe and that they have been extremely dignified given the circumstances.
“To assault Dean and leave him unconscious on the floor of their flat for more than an hour before calling an ambulance is shocking. The reason for the delay was to enable him to concoct a defence.
“I am satisfied that a jury has seen it fit to convict Armstrong and I hope that this result brings some justice to Dean’s family who will now have to face the rest of their lives without him.”
A spokesperson for Dean’s family has paid tribute to a ‘gentle and kind’ man.
A statement said: “Dean was really intelligent, thoughtful and funny. Everybody liked him. He was gentle, kind and did not like anything cruel in the world.
“He loved his family, and we loved him; his mam, dad, brother, sister, step-dad, step-mam and grandparents. We just wanted him to be happy.
“Everyone is reeling from the shock, it has been a horrible shock for all the family. We were so close and he would always come to me, this was his haven. Everyone will miss him so much but he would want us to remember the happy memories and stay strong.
“We would like to thank Northumbria Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and our friends for the support that we have received during the investigation.”
Armstrong was remanded to custody following his conviction and will be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court at the end of April.