A man has been found guilty of the manslaughter of gym owner Dave Hickman after a jury cleared him of murder at Birmingham Crown Court today.

Thomas Powell - cleared of murder
Thomas Powell – cleared of murder

Thomas Powell, 48 from Northfield, was convicted and sentenced to six and a half years in prison following a two week trial.

Mundeep Sahota, 21 from Weoley Castle, was today found guilty of affray for his involvement He received a 15 month prison term.

On 9th July 2012 Powell and Sahota went to the Dark Arts Gym in Northfield, owned by Mr Hickman, with the intention of settling a dispute with him.

According to the Birmingham Mail, Mr Hickman had armed himself with a knuckle duster in anticipation of Mr Powell’s visit, and Judge Paul Farrer QC said: “Violence erupted immediately. It matters not which one of you struck the first blow.”

Powell and Hickman fought on the stairway at the rear of the gym. Both men threw punches at each other and, whilst doing so, toppled over the railings and fell approximately 10 feet to the floor.

David Hickman, who also ran Dark Arts Tattoo in Rubery, broke his neck in the fall. Whilst lying paralysed on the ground, he was kicked in the genitals by Sahota. He suffered extremely serious injuries and was rushed to hospital by ambulance.

Powell also received injuries, including three broken ribs, but left the scene with Sahota in his vehicle, with Sahota driving.

He was also taken to the QE where he was treated and arrested the same night.

David Hickman received extensive treatment for his injuries however medical staff could not save him and he sadly died on 21 July.

Sergeant Harry May, from the force’s Major Investigation Review Team, said: “Today my thoughts go out to David’s family, who have lost a son, brother and father to this senseless killing.

“I hope they can take some comfort that justice has been done today and start to rebuild their lives.”

David Hickman’s family have released the following statement: “David lived his life with a passion for success and for his family.

“Every day we had with him was a gift. Nothing will ever fill the loss and emptiness we all feel from him being taken from us too soon, but now we can move on and remember how he lived and not how he was tragically taken from us.

“His love and his smile will always be in our hearts forever.”

More on David Hickman

Dave and his dad | Image courtesy  of West Midlands Police
Dave and his dad | Image courtesy of West Midlands Police


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