Teenager pleads guilty to one-punch manslaughter in Northampton town centre

Arthur Billings.
Arthur Billings.

A 19-year-old has today pleaded guilty to manslaughter after he killed a 24-year-old man in a one-punch assault in a Northampton nightspot.

Arthur Billings, 19, of Harpole, pleaded guilty today (Friday July 12) to punching 24-year-old Bradley Matcham next to an alleyway in The Drapery, Northampton, in the early hours of Saturday, February 9, following a heated exchange of words.

Bradley Matcham was killed in one-punch attack in Drapery earlier this year.

Bradley Matcham was killed in one-punch attack in Drapery earlier this year.

Bradley, who had never met Billings before, fell to the floor unconscious and was taken to hospital where he died nine days later on Monday, February 18.

DC Spencer Bailey, from Northamptonshire Police’s Major Crime Team, said: “This is an extremely tragic case in which a young man has lost his life as the result of one punch.

“Bradley had his whole life ahead of him – he was a bright, popular and kind young man who was simply trying to enjoy a night out on the day he was killed.

“Bradley did not provoke this punch or threaten Billings in any way. In fact, his hands were in his pockets and his head was turned away at the moment he was punched, giving him no opportunity to defend himself.

The incident took place next to McDonalds in Drapery.

The incident took place next to McDonalds in Drapery.

“I’m glad that Billings pleaded guilty today so Bradley’s family do not have to go through the trauma of a trial and I hope this case serves as lesson to others that one punch can have catastrophic and devastating consequences.”

Billings was bailed by the court until sentencing which will take place at Northampton Crown Court on Monday, September 9.