Family pays tribute to football coach killed with one punch: ‘I’ve lost my compass, my guide’

Scott Hendy surrounded by his children Harvey, Lewis and Holly (Family handout)
Scott Hendy surrounded by his children Harvey, Lewis and Holly (Family handout)

The family of a football coach killed after suffering a single but fatal punch outside a pub have mourned losing their “heart and soul” after his attacker was jailed.

Scott Hendy, 46, fell and suffered a critical head injury after being struck by George Baylis in pub car park in Redwick Road, Pilning, at about 12.10am on 2 March.

He was taken to hospital where he tragically died the following day.

Baylis was arrested a short distance away approximately 30 minutes after the incident. He broke down in front of officers and apologised claiming he did not want to hurt anyone.

Baylis broke down in front of officers after punching Scott Hendy once (Avon and Somerset Police)
Baylis broke down in front of officers after punching Scott Hendy once (Avon and Somerset Police)

Mr Hendy’s son Lewis said his father was the “heart and soul of the family” and was “idolised” by his children.

He said: “One of the hardest things to accept is that I can no longer reach out to Dad. There will be no more phone calls to ask for his advice, no more texts to share a quick joke, no more chats about work or life.

“I still pick up the phone to call or message him, eager to share something funny that’s just happened. Then reality kicks in and I get that sinking feeling again because he’s no longer there.

“It feels like I’ve lost my compass, my guide, and the person I could always turn to when I needed help.”

Lewis added: “There are events that have not yet happened that I know will be incredibly bittersweet, such as the birth of my first child and my wedding, this also applies to Harvey and Holly.

“Dad will never get the opportunity to become a grandparent, to walk Holly down the aisle and to show us all up with his dance moves at our weddings.”

Baylis, of Redwick Road, pleaded guilty to manslaughter last month and was sentenced to four and a half years at Bristol Crown Court. He will serve at least half.

Around 700 people attended the popular football coach’s funeral.

His mother, Jennifer Hendy, said “not a day that goes by where we don’t think about Scott” in her victim personal statement.

She said: “He was the kindest, loveliest character and all-round amazing son. His personality was infectious and was always one for being the joker.

“His sense of humour was legendary, and his loss will be felt from all over Bristol such was the reach of his infectious personality.”

She added: “This is an horrendous situation we find ourselves in and our lives will never be the same.

“We know this would never have happened if Scott wasn’t punched.

“However, we understand this has probably ruined the offender’s life as well; if anything we feel sorry for him and his family. We don’t have any hatred towards him, we accept he probably didn’t mean to kill our son.

“However, we are now left feeling our entire life has been torn apart and don’t think we will ever come to terms with living our lives without him.”

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Almond, of the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “Scott Hendy was clearly a very popular man and our sympathies are with his loved ones at the conclusion of these legal proceedings.

“George Baylis has shown remorse for what occurred throughout the course of enquiries and also pleaded guilty early on to manslaughter.

“While there is no evidence of any intent on his part to cause the fatal injuries he did, this case highlights the tragic reality that one punch can kill. In that split second he lashed out he unintentionally took Scott’s life and now has received a prison sentence.”