A man with a history of violence has been cleared of the murder of banker Oliver Dearlove in Blackheath in August last year. However, he had admitted manslaughter over the fatal single punch and is facing years in jail.

The Old Bailey had heard that Mr Dearlove and his friends struck up a conversation with a group of women who had been out celebrating with Trevor Timon, 31, from Plumstead.

Timon took exception to the banter and told 30-year-old Mr Dearlove: “If you don’t get out of my face I will knock you out.”

He pushed through with his threat leaving the former Coutts banker sprawled on the ground. The women walked away from the scene but a motorist stopped to give first aid but private banker Mr Dearlove died within hours of the attack.

Oliver Dearlove

Timon initially fled to Ireland but returned to hand himself in. The court was told that he had a history of violence, including punching a woman in the face in 2010 but Timon said that he hadn’t intended any serious harm.

Mr Dearlove’s friend said: “He was looking for a fight. Not a nice guy. We didn’t know why, it all happened so quickly.”

Mr Dearlove’s long-term girlfriend Claire Wheatley and mother Joy Wright were upset when the murder acquittal verdict came through on Wednesday (February 23) and later issued a statement saying Mr Dearlove’s loss left a “gaping hole” in their lives.

Sentencing will follow later.