A university graduate who killed a clubber with a knockout punch after branding his female friends 'slags' and 'sluts' was jailed for nine years today.

Ridwaan Shaikh, 22, threw a right hook without warning at 21-year-old Bradley Cresswell during a drunken night out in Watford.

Shaikh first tangled with Mr Cresswell - who was on licence from prison for beating up a stranger in the street - in the smoking area at the Hydeout nightclub.

He was determined to get revenge after being punched in the face and was captured on CCTV launching an unprovoked attack on Mr Cresswell in a nearby car park.

Thirty-five minutes later Shaikh knocked out Mr Cresswell again - this time fatally - while the victim was talking to three girls in the street.

Shaikh, who had been out celebrating his graduation with a sports science degree from Essex University, claimed he acted in self-defence but was convicted of manslaughter yesterday.

He was cleared of murder, but Sheikh wept in the dock as the jury's verdict was announced.

Shaikh claimed the victim had yelled racist abuse at him.

Hillingdon Times:

Bradley was just 21

Jailing him for nine years today, Judge Anthony Morris QC said: "This is a tragic case both for Bradley Cresswell and his family and for you and your family.

"I'm satisfied that you alone were the aggressor in the two incidents when you assaulted Bradley Cresswell and that he didn't contribute in any way.

"I'm satisfied he didn't use any provocative language towards you at all - your blow was unexpected and took him completely by surprise.

"This was a devious, cowardly and violent assault on someone who was not expecting it and didn't deserve to be assaulted.

"You showed a callous disregard for your victim as he lay on the ground."

Rupert Pardoe, for Shaikh, told the court that his client had no previous convictions and had the overwhelming support of his family and friends who attended court every day.

He described the attack as a 'moment of madness'.

Mr Cresswell, from South Oxhey, Herts, was jailed for three years and two months in February 2014 for causing actual bodily harm, supplying cocaine and dangerous driving.

At the time, the judge branded him a 'snivelling wretch' and told him: "You said you rule South Oxhey and that you are a big man.

"You are not. You had better learn to control your impulsive behaviour or it will lead to longer and longer sentences."

In a victim impact statement, his brother Hayden said Bradley had been working with him as a fencer at the time of his death and they had been talking about going into business together.

Hillingdon Times:

Friends gather at Bradley's funeral in South Oxhey

He said Bradley doted on his young niece and 'couldn't bear to see her go without anything.'

Mr Cresswell said Bradley had autism and 'found making decisions difficult and he found dealing with life difficult and he didn't understand things the way others would.'

The court heard Cresswell breached his curfew to go to the Hydeout nightclub with friends at around 10.49pm on 17 September last year.

Shaikh, who had drunk 'a considerable amount of alcohol' and smoked cannabis, arrived at the same club just after midnight on 18 September.

CCTV cameras captured him being 'overfamiliar' with one of Mr Cresswell's friends by touching her from behind as they queued up to enter the smoking area.

The girls told jurors that Shaikh called them 'slags' and 'sluts' during the confrontation.

Shaikh encountered Mr Cresswell for the first time in the smoking area and claimed he was punched in the face.

CCTV captured Mr Cresswell appearing to renact the incident for his friends minutes later.

At around 3am the two men clashed again in the corridor at closing time.

Prosecutor Benn Maguire said Shaikh was determined to 'punish' Mr Cresswell and get his revenge.

Shaikh first punched Mr Cresswell in the head as the victim chatted to three female friends near a car park in Bentine Lane not far from the club.

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Mr Cresswell recovered from the attack and walked back to The Parade with friends.

Half an hour later Shaikh launched an almost identical attack on Mr Cresswell in the Parade.

Mr Cresswell was chatting to the same three female friends when Shaikh's group started hurling abuse and again calling the girls 'slags' and 'sluts'.

Moments later, just as the incident appeared to have calmed down, Shaikh again punched Mr Cresswell in the head.

Mr Cresswell was pronounced dead at hospital at 10.37am.

Giving evidence at trial, Shaikh said he threw the first punch in Bentine Lane after Mr Cresswell called him an 'Asian p*ssy'.

Shaikh wept as he told the court: "I was the only Asian person there. It made me feel upset.

"Him and his group harassed me through the night, not only did he punch me in the face, not only did his friends knock me to the floor, and he verbally abused me in the carpark.

"This felt very personal to me because I have never been the subject of racial abuse before.

"I hit him. It was not planned, I just reacted. When he called me that, it's never happened to me before. I never done this before and I will regret it for the rest of my life.

"I shouldn't have hit him."

He claimed that he threw the second punch in self defence after Mr Creswell punched him in the chest.

Shaikh, of Ilford, east London, was jailed for nine years for manslaughter.