Man Goes to Jail for Manslaughter After Punching His Friend to Death for “Poking” His Girlfriend on Facebook

By on October 7, 2014

This Nottingham man has been sentenced to four years and four months in prison for the manslaughter of Richard Rovetto, a crime described by CPS East Midlands Senior Crown Prosecutor Nathanael Hartley as “an avoidable tragedy.”

Pals Humphrey and Rovetto were out for a guys night when things took a horrible turn. According to the press release, the pair got involved in an argument while on the cab ride home with a friend, and things only got worse when they got out of the taxi. “The argument culminated in Mr. Humphrey striking Mr. Rovetto as he tried to get out of the taxi,” the release states.

“Mr Rovetto was walking away towards the friend who had shared the taxi with them, when Mr. Humphrey approached him from behind and punched him to the head, causing him to fall to the floor. Mr. Rovetto never got up, and he died shortly afterwards from head injuries.”

What’s even more shocking is what’s being reported as the topic of their heated conversation.

Prosecutor Gareth Gimson reportedly told the court that Humphrey was upset at Rovetto for “poking” his girlfriend on Facebook (the “poke” button is usually thought of as a way to flirt with other users on the social media website).

Gimson said, “The taxi driver recalls Scott Humphrey accusing Richard Rovetto of contacting his girlfriend in the past and doing so via Facebook. The expression used is a ‘poke.’ Scott Humphrey said to Richard Rovetto, ‘If you’re such a good friend then why did you poke my missus?’ Richard Rovetto said he didn’t know it was his girlfriend. The exchange became more heated.”

After 29-year-old Rovetto fell to the ground, Humphrey reportedly fled from the scene, but later turned himself into the police.

“When you and him went out that evening, violence and death were the furthest things from your mind,” Judge Gregory Dickinson QC reportedly told Humphrey during his sentencing. “You didn’t intend to kill him. Part of the tragedy is that it’s left to chance what happens. There will be a fight like this somewhere tonight and the person will get up and go home and the police will never hear about it.”

Humphrey’s lawyer, Robert Egbuna, said, “The defendant is genuinely remorseful about his actions. He will never forget that day. As soon as Scott Humphrey heard about what had happened to Richard Rovetto, he was devastated. He has been very candid and admitted this offense from the very start.”


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