A man has been convicted of manslaughter after punching a millionaire banking executive in London’s West End in a row over a stolen phone.
Paul Mason, 52, had spent the evening socialising at the Ivy Club and was on his way home when he was confronted by Steven Murdoch Allan, 34, in Cambridge Circus.
The Old Bailey heard Allan believed Mr Mason, the CEO for Qatar National Bank, had stolen his friend’s phone and knocked him to the ground with an uppercut punch.
Allan, 34, who had been drinking in various bars, shouted, “where’s your fight now” as Mr Mason lay on the ground, jurors heard.
Mr Mason was taken to hospital in critical condition and stayed on life support for six months before passing away on June 4, 2022.
Allan, of Grensell Close, Eversley, Hampshire, had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was found not guilty of murder on Thursday, 2 February.
Homicide detectives released an image of the suspect believed to have punched Mr Mason and appealed for help to identify him. Allan contacted police himself and on December 17 2021, was charged with grievous bodily harm.
DCI Wayne Jolley, said: “Paul Mason’s death tragically illustrates the consequences of resorting to physical violence. Even where there is no murderous intent, there is no guarantee that a violent attack won’t result in death.
“Mr Mason’s family was devastated by this incident. It began with a punch that resulted in a serious brain injury and went on to become a bedside vigil that spanned half a year. They have had the unenviable experience of a trial and now a retrial and my thoughts are with them today.”
He will be sentenced at the same court on Thursday, 23 March.