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Kent minibus cabbie watched in horror as man punched his own brother to death in passenger seat

A prison sentence has been given to a man after he caused the death of his brother by punching him during a minibus cab journey. At around 10.40pm on 28 December 2018, Carl Eldred, his brother Lee and two other people were passengers in a minibus taxi travelling from West Malling towards Tonbridge. 

As they approached Hadlow, the two brothers started having an argument that culminated in Carl punching Lee. The driver, who watched the tragic incident unfold in horror, stopped the vehicle on Hadlow Road and one of the passengers gave first aid to Lee who was unresponsive. The South East Coast Ambulance Service attended and continued treatment until the 36-year-old was pronounced deceased at the scene. Officers also attended and Carl Eldred was arrested. On 29 December, following authorisation from the Crown Prosecution Service, he was charged and remanded in custody. Appearing at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday 5 April 2019, 34-year-old Carl Eldred of, Langton Green pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

The brothers mother, Carina Eldred, described the relationship her two boys shared in a letter which was read out in court. 

She said: ""As children they shared a bond that could not be broken." "They did everything together," Carina explained. 

"They really were close. It was a purely natural and loving relationship.

 "I understand every family feels they have a close bond and can claim to have unconditional love for each other. "But I have always been proud to say this is nothing but true. "Lee was my first born, followed by Carl three years later. "Carl is the sensible, caring son and built the very foundations of his business and created a successful life to provide for his family. "He is the brother the others go to for help and advice." Mrs Eldred also spoke of Carl's wish to provide for Lee's children, and his love of his own. "He has been there every day since they were born until now. It pains me to hear them asking 'where's daddy?'" Carl Eldred was sentenced at the same court on Friday 17 May to four years in prison. 

Detective Inspector Matt Banks of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “This was a tragic event for a family following a social night out. Carl Eldred failed to consider the risks when he punched his brother and is now paying for the consequences with a jail sentence. “This should serve as a reminder to anybody involved in an argument that the use of any physical force should always be avoided. It could result in significant harm for a victim and a considerable prison sentence for those responsible.”

Image: Source; Kent Police 

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