Man jailed for manslaughter following fatal assault in Butetown, Cardiff

A man has been sentenced to six years imprisonment with an extended licence period of three years, following the death of Luke Higgins in Butetown, Cardiff

David Smith, who admitted manslaughter, was jailed at Cardiff Crown Court today (Friday, January 5).

Police were called to a report of serious assault in Hansen Street at around 4.30am on Thursday, September 14, 2023.

Luke Higgins, 40, from Butetown, was critically injured and taken to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, where he died on Saturday, September 16.

Prior to Mr Higgins’ death, David Smith, 43, also from Butetown, was charged with causing grievous bodily harm but following his death, was charged with manslaughter.

He pleaded guilty on November 27 and was back in court today to be sentenced.

Smith will serve a minimum of two thirds of the custodial sentence before being eligible for parole.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Inspector Lianne Rees, from South Wales Police, said:

“My thoughts go out to Luke’s family and friends as they continue to come to terms with what happened that day.

“Luke was a much-loved father, brother, and uncle, who is greatly missed by his family.

“This tragic case highlights how one punch can kill and how a single punch can devastate the lives of many.

“Finally, I would like to thank the Butetown community who supported this investigation.”

Luke’s daughter Nikita Chick and niece Amber Dacruz both provided Victim Personal Statements to court.

Nikita said:

“My father’s death has left not only his family, but everyone who knew him, completely devastated and heartbroken.

“He will never have the chance to meet his future grandchildren. He will never be able to walk me down the aisle or see me get married. Our plans for the future will never be fulfilled.”

His niece, Amber said:

“Luke’s death has left an emptiness in our hearts that will never be filled. He was a son, a father, a brother, an uncle, and a friend to many.

“As a family, something as little as popping into Cardiff town centre hurts now because we know we will never bump into Luke again.

“It’s the knowing that we will never see this kind soul, hear his stories, or hear him sing while playing his guitar ever again.

“All we can hope now, is that justice is served.

“Luke was loved, by us all, and many others, and will forever be in our hearts.”

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