An electrician was sentenced to three years in prison for killing an affluent banker outside The Ivy Club due to a mistaken identity, despite the victim’s family’s request for a heavier punishment.
On December 15, 2020, Steven Allan attacked Paul Mason three times outside the Soho venue, knocking the Qatar National Bank CEO to the ground.
Mr. Mason (The Banker) sustained severe head injuries and died six months later. His brother Simon Mason died three months later from an apparent alcohol overdose caused by “trauma and grief,” according to their sister Rachel Mason.
According to court testimony, Allan the Electrician, 35, was several drinks when he confronted the victim after mistakenly assuming he had stolen his friend’s mobile phone.
The Old Bailey had heard that when approached by Allan the Electrician, Mr. Mason did not respond violently or aggressively, instead attempting to “turn the other cheek” and walk away.
Allan then threw a crushing uppercut, “poleaxing” Mr. Mason, who flew back and sprawled on his back, his head slamming into the concrete. The event lasted 12 seconds and was recorded on CCTV.
Even though Mr. Mason lay “gravely injured,” prosecutor Jane Bickerstaff KC said the defendant was “aggressive and seemed to want to continue fighting.”
One witness said Allan yelled, “Where’s your fight now, show me your fight now.”
Allan, 35, of Hook, Hampshire, accepted manslaughter but was acquitted of the more serious charge of murder.
The reduced term was due to his guilty plea and lesser charge.
Mr. Mason’s family blamed Allan for a double tragedy on Thursday, revealing that his susceptible brother overdosed three months after his death.
Mr. Mason’s sister Rachel Mason read her victim impact statement in court, saying, “You, Steven Allan, violently attacked and killed my brother, leaving me heartbroken and devastated.”
“I will be sad for the rest of my life because I will have to live without Paul.” You have permanently shattered my family.”
She described the “traumatic journey of horror, hope, and then devastation” she experienced in the months following the “brutal” attack.
“Can you imagine how frightening that was for him when he woke up, and how difficult it was for us not to be with him when he needed us?” she continued, addressing the dock.
“We eventually saw Paul die as the brain damage you caused took his life and the life support was turned off.”
Mr. Mason, who was made a Freeman of the City of London for humanitarian activities, was described as a “remarkably kind, decent, gentle soul” who excelled in all parts of his life.
“My other brother Simon, a vulnerable adult, could not cope with the killing of his little brother,” she stated of her other sibling’s death.
“Three months after Paul died, he was consumed by trauma and grief and committed suicide.” You’ve abandoned me with no brothers.
“I have no doubt that whatever your actions were, they contributed to the death of my other sibling.”
“I hope you feel sick to your stomach every day for the rest of your life, shame, and disgust as you live within my mind – being a murderer,” she continued.
She told Allan, holding out her brother’s phone, “This is Paul’s phone – you killed him for this.”
Mr. Mason’s elderly parents, Ian and Linda Mason, who appeared in court via video link, also blamed Allan for their sons’ deaths.
In a statement read in court, his father said, “He is responsible for the deaths of two people.” I hope a horrible thug is apprehended so he does not wreck the lives of another family the way he has ruined ours.”
William Boyce KC, in mitigation, stated that the defendant’s “remorse” for what transpired had damaged every element of his life.
Judge Michael Topolski KC sentenced Allan to three years and nine months in prison, saying, “The circumstances that led to the defendant causing the death of a perfectly respectable, wholly innocent stranger who happened to be passing by are as extraordinary as they are tragic.”
“The sudden and exceptional nature of the circumstances that led to his death have, I am sure, significantly exacerbated the family’s feelings of disbelief, distress, and anger at the nature of his passing.”
The judge accepted the defendant’s statement that his actions were motivated by “unsupportable nonsense.”
He went on to praise the off-duty critical care nurses who witnessed Mr Mason’s attack and went to his aid before emergency services arrived.
“For all they knew, this could have been some kind of terrorist operation going on,” he added.
“Paul Mason’s death tragically illustrates the consequences of resorting to physical violence,” stated Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Jolley. Even if no deadly intent exists, there is no guarantee that a violent attack will not result in death.
“We are immensely disappointed that the jury did not all see the intent to cause serious harm that most people who saw the CCTV concluded,” a spokeswoman for Paul Mason’s family stated.
“We had hoped for a life sentence for him, but we must try to accept the jury’s decision.”
“At the very least, he’ll be imprisoned for murdering Paul, and we’ll be able to move forward a little.”