Horrifying CCTV shows moment thug fatally punches 'kind and gentle' banker after drunkenly thinking he took pal's phone

21 April 2023, 17:42 | Updated: 21 April 2023, 17:44

CCTV shows shocking moment man is assaulted in Westminster in 2020

By Will Taylor

CCTV has captured the moment an electrician fatally punched a high-flying banking executive when he mistakenly believed he stole his friend's phone.

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Steven Allan was jailed for more than three years after he drunkenly attacked Paul Mason, 52, in the street near a private members' club in Soho, London. The victim died months after the attack.

Allan lashed out at the "kind and gentle" boss at Qatar National Bank in a 12-second assault captured on camera.

The footage shows how he approaches Mr Mason from behind and launches a punch as the banker tries to calmly walk away.

Mr Mason is then harangued by Allan as he tries to protect his face. He is knocked unconscious when Allan attacks again, who appears to search his upper body.

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Mr Mason, who was attacked late on 15 December 2020, died of his injuries in hospital six months later after suffering a head injury.

Allan handed himself into police two days after his attack after the Met launched an appeal.

CCTV shows the appalling attack
CCTV shows the appalling attack. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Allan, 35, previously admitted manslaughter and was found not guilty of murder in February.

A spokesperson for Mr Mason's family said: "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.

"We really hoped he would get a life sentence, but we must try to accept the jury's decision. At least he will be imprisoned for killing Paul and we can start to move forward a little.

"Words cannot express how traumatised and distressed we were when we were told about the attack on Paul, a senseless act of violence on an entirely innocent man simply making his way home from an evening out with friends.

Read more: Victim's anger as man, 21, who raped girl, 13, in park appeals sentence despite avoiding jail sentence

“As it was the time of strict COVID guidelines Paul's parents were blue lighted to the London hospital in the early hours of the morning, fully gowned they were allowed a short time with Paul to say goodbye as his condition was so critical.

“We could then only talk to him via FaceTime once a day as he lay in a coma. We could not see him in person for over three months, only then a brief meet outside the hospital on his birthday. Months of hope and torment followed as the extent of brain injury emerged and ultimately took his life.

Paul Mason died six months after the assault
Paul Mason died six months after the assault. Picture: Metropolitan Police
Allan has been jailed for more than three years
Allan has been jailed for more than three years. Picture: Metropolitan Police

"No parent or sibling should have to sit and watch their loved one slowly die as we endured once his life support was turned off six months after the attack. He was not ill or old, another man took his life. We hope he feels the shame and guilt of his actions every single day until he takes his last breath. Forgiveness does not seem possible right now.

"Paul was remarkable, a kind, gentle soul who never harmed anyone and as we know he tried to walk away from his killer. He brought joy and laughter to all that knew him, he had many friends across the world that adored him."

Mr Mason was involved in a number of charities, raising money for causes like motor neurone disease, the family added.

The Met's Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Jolley said: "Paul Mason's death tragically illustrates the consequences of resorting to physical violence.

"Even where there is no murderous intent, there is no guarantee that a violent attack won't result in death.

"Mr Mason's family are devastated by this incident. Paul was an innocent victim of an unprovoked attack which resulted in a serious brain injury.

"They have had the unenviable experience of a trial and a retrial but have acted with dignity throughout. Our thoughts are very much with them today."

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