Man jailed for one-punch killing of ‘dearly loved’ Emmanuel Simon in south Manchester

A man who admitted killing a ‘dearly loved’ student doctor with a single punch in the Rusholme area of Manchester two years ago has been jailed for over four years.

Nojan Kafi, 36, of no fixed abode, was today (Friday 25 March) sentenced at Manchester Crown Court (Crown Square) to four years and six months in jail after previously pleading guilty to one count of manslaughter.

The court heard Kafi admit fatally inflicting a single punch on Emmanuel Simon – a 33-year-old Eritrean man who had moved to Manchester to study to become a doctor – in Rusholme in the early hours of Sunday 26 January 2020.

Earlier that night, Emmanuel had been out at a wedding celebration before going to the Dubai Café with some friends.

At around 5am, a disturbance broke out inside the Café which, the court heard, spilled out onto Wilmslow Road with Emmanuel trying to be peacemaker.

During this disturbance a bouncer at the Café – later identified as Kafi – punched Emmanuel once to the head causing him to fall to the ground and immediately lose consciousness.

Despite the best efforts of emergency services, Emmanuel passed away just over a fortnight later on Monday 10 February, and a murder inquiry was launched by detectives in GMP’s Major Incident Team (MIT).

Police later issued CCTV footage from the night as they appealed for the public’s help to identify the offender, and Kafi handed himself in at Central Park police station that same day where he was arrested and later charged with murder.

The court accepted Kafi’s guilty plea for manslaughter on Friday 4 December 2020 and he was today ordered to serve four years and nine months in jail.

Two other men have also been convicted of violent disorder in relation to the incident and a further three men are due on trial in September 2022 charged with the same offence.

Vojtech Suchy, 31, previously admitted his guilt and was sentenced to 10 months in custody, and Majid Kareem, 38, has served a 15-month sentence for violent disorder and also perverting the course of justice.

Detective Chief Inspector Carl Jones, our Major Incident Team, said: “The death of Emmanuel is a tragedy that his family and friends still have to bear on a daily basis two years on from that dreadful night, and our thoughts remain with them as this part of the investigation draws to a close.

“Emmanuel had come to Manchester for a better life and to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor; all this was so cruelly taken away from him by a moment of sheer brutal recklessness by Nojan Kafi.

“Sadly, we see far too often the devastating impact of one punch, one moment of lethal violence that can have such tremendously damaging – and ultimately fatal – consequences and it is important for all concerned that today Kafi finally faces justice.

“We have been committed from day one in ensuring that Emmanuel’s loved ones are provided with the answers they deserve and I would like to thank all those involved with this investigation, including members of the public, for their help to secure this outcome.”

Paying tribute to Emmanuel at time of his death in February 2020, his family said: “Emanuel came over to the UK in 2008 from Eritrea, east Africa. He had big dreams and aspirations to be a doctor and studied medicine at Manchester University.

“He worked hard while balancing both his job and his studies and after taking a gap year he had been accepted to join a university in Leeds to continue his studies in medicine.

“Known to his family and friends as Paulos, Emanuel was a gentle giant, easy going, quick to smile and loved life – he was dearly loved.

“Being one of nine siblings, Emanuel was from a large family and his loss will have a huge impact on every one of his friends and family.

“Emanuel was taken far too soon and in such tragic circumstances. He will be missed more than words can say.”

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