Family pay tribute to brother killed by drunken Leigh pal’s ‘swing and miss’ punch

The family of a man who died after he intervened in a drunken fight between two men in Leigh have paid tribute to their ‘loving’ brother.

Derek Alexander Szostok, 62, died after he tried to break up a row between William Lynch and his brother at a flat on Moresby Close in the early hours of August 26.

During the scuffle, the 62-year-old was accidently punched by Lynch and hit his head against a stairwell – leaving him with a fractured neck and skull.

He was rushed to hospital and initially responded to treatment but later suffered a stroke and died.

Derek’s sister, Marie Szostok, said: “It’s been a very difficult time for us all, but hopefully this will bring some closure.

“Derek was a wonderful brother and he did not deserve to lose his life in this way.

“He was kind, loving and loyal and we will miss him forever.”

Lynch was convicted of manslaughter following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday and was sentenced to four years and three months in prison.  

Known locally as Billy, Lynch lived in a flat above Derek and the two were said to be close. He also later admitted he looked at Derek as a ‘father-type figure’ and said they regularly socialised in their respective flats with friends.

On Monday August 25, Derek, Lynch, Lynch’s brother and two other friends were at the flat enjoying a few drinks and chatting.

The two brothers then got into a drunken argument, which the two often did, and it initially started as ‘reasonably childish’.

However, it descended into a more violent confrontation resulting in Lynch throwing a coffee table and putting his foot through a TV screen.

After being rushed to hospital, Mr Szostok endured a 10-hour operation due to the injuries he had sustained but sadly died on August 30.

Derek’s sister, Marie Szostok, said: “We are happy with today’s result and that we can finally move on and grieve for our brother.”

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