A TEENAGER who killed a man in a row over a bottle of vodka has been locked up for 12 years. 

Drew Wilkinson’s attack on 32-year-old Marek Krivak was described as a ‘vile’ and ‘unjustified’ act of violence by a judge when he appeared for sentencing at Preston Crown Court.

He was sent to custody for 11-years to be served in a young offenders’ institute for the attack on Mr Krivak, but also pleaded guilty to a further count of racially aggravated assault relating to a separate incident for which he was given a further 12 months.

The court heard how Wilkinson was under investigation by police for fracturing a taxi marshal’s jaw when the attack on Mr Krivak took place on October 27.

The 18-year-old was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter by a jury following a trial in April.

Prosecutor Wayne Thomas Jackson described how Mr Krivak had been out in Burnley with his friend Robert Leck where the pair were drinking from a bottle of vodka.

They were approached by Wilkinson and his friends and the group struck-up a conversation. 

He said: “Their initial meeting was friendly and they were sharing the vodka. But then one Liam Kennedy, a friend of the defendant, drank too much of the alcohol.”

An altercation between Mr Kennedy and Mr Krivak ensued, with Mr Jackson saying their was ‘pushing and shoving’ between the pair. But once tensions had simmered down Wilkinson took it upon himself to put a knuckleduster on his hand and hit Mr Krivak to the face.

Addressing the defendant, Mark Brown, The Honary Recorder of Preston, said: “CCTV footage shows that Mr Krivak had began to walk away and was posing no threat. You then delivered a blow to him, armed with a knuckleduster.

“It was a swinging blow, which caused you to fall forwards. It connected with right side of his face and straight away he went to the floor and the back of his head hit the ground. 

“He suffered significant head and brain injuries from which he died three days later. But the fatal blow you issued was not the end of your violent attack because you leaned over to punch and kick him again.

“Of course you would not have known he was fatally injured when you kicked him on the ground but you must have released he was defenceless.”

Speaking about Mr Krivak, Judge Brown said: “He was still a young man and had reason to believe he had many years of life ahead of him. Your criminal actions have taken away that life.

"He has been described as kind and caring, someone who went the extra mile to help and support his family and friends. It is hoped the ending of the criminal proceedings will provide some closure for them.”

Defending Wilkinson,  Charles Miskin QC said it was true that his client was a ‘young man who was arrogant, out-of-control and aggressive’ but added a pre-sentence report made by a probation officer offered ‘encouraging’  points. 

He said: “During the trial he showed remorse for what he had done in the sense that he knew he had caused the loss of life of a young man. He is very sorry about that.

“He has been open and candid with the probation officer and has admitted his guilt.”

Tributes to ‘caring and loving’ son and brother

Lancashire Telegraph:

THE FAMILY of Marek Krivak (pictured above) have spoken of the ‘magnitude of pain’ they have experienced since his death.

In statement read out in court, Mr Krivak was described as a kind, caring, loving and always helpful young man with a great sense of humour.

His brother Reiko Krivak said: “He was a supportive and caring little brother, a superb brother-in-law and a really fun uncle.

“It is an impossible task having to explain to our twoyear-old that his uncle will never come back.

“We talk about him every single day. He made our lives richer and made us better people.

“We love him now and will keep loving him. We can’t express the magnitude of pain caused by his death.”

Mr Krivak, a lover of nature and hiking, supported his ill parents who continued living in his home nation of Slovakia.

In a letter they said: “With the death of Marek we have lost out little boy who, once he became an adult, cared for us, his sick parents.

“We think about him every day and there are constant silent reminders that he is no longer in our lives.”