Man who killed former Chesterfield soldier and Sheffield United fan jailed for at least 13 years

A man who murdered a former Chesterfield soldier and Sheffield United fan after attacking him outside a bar has been jailed.

By Andy Done-Johnson
Friday, 5th February 2021, 5:54 pm

Connor Rose, aged 25, who registered his address as Baden Powell Road, Chesterfield, was found guilty of murdering Joseph Robotham following a two-week trial at Derby Crown Court on Wednesday, February 3.

Rose had attacked the 24-year-old outside Chesterfield’s Vibe Bar, in Holywell Street, in the early hours of Saturday, February 8 last year, knocking him unconscious with a single blow.

Prosecutors had previously told the court that Rose used a beer bottle to hit Mr Robotham, of Sheffield Road, Old Whittington, before he fell to the floor and banged his head on the ground, suffering a fractured skull.

Sign up to our daily Buxton Advertiser Today newsletter

Joseph Robotham died after he was attacked by Rose outside a Chesterfield club

Mr Robotham was rushed to Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital but he died from “devastating” brain injuries the next day.

But in Rose’ sentencing on Friday, February 5, Judge Shaun Smith QC, ruled that there was insufficient evidence to determine that the 25-year-old had used the bottle as a weapon, but rather had the bottle in his hand when he struck the fatal blow.

Read More

Read More
Derbyshire man left elderly couple wheelchair-bound when he hit them head-on in ...

The court had previously heard that Mr Robotham had got into a fight inside the club with a man named Adrian Strafford, a friend of Rose, and when both men were ejected, the defendant followed and assaulted Mr Robotham eight seconds after he came out of the fire door.

Connor Rose will serve at least 13 years behind bars for the murder of Joseph Robotham

During proceedings, a witness statement was read out on behalf of Mr Robotham’s mother, Deborah, and his father Richard, and girlfriend Chelsea Neale both attended court to speak personally of their own ordeals since Mr Robotham’s death.

In a statement read out by Katherine Goddard QC, Mr Robotham’s mother told the court: "My son Joe was killed during a night out in Chesterfield. Since his death I'm a different person. From living a happy life, it's dark now and I'm tearful every day. Joy has been taken from my life and my family's lives.

"Joe wasn't perfect, but he was perfect to me."

Mr Robotham said: “I continually think of Joe and I try to convince myself that everything is okay. I used to think about walking on a beach with Joe and his children, and now that's gone. I have been given a life sentence, as an innocent."

And Miss Neale told the court: "I loved Joe very much. Since he died my life has changed beyond recognition. Joe was looking at me and opened his mouth to speak to me when his eyes rolled back and he fell to the floor.

“I can't go past the Vibe nightclub any more as I just think of Joe lying on the floor.”

Sentencing Rose to a minimum term of 14 years before he can be considered for parole, less the 360 days he has already served on remand, Judge Smith QC said: “Where does a judge begin when so many lives have been changed forever by a single action? "I dearly wish by my sentencing that I could give everyone those eight seconds back.”

"Something flicked a switch. Whether it was adrenalin, drink or a desire to help your friend, you punched Mr Robotham to the head with a bottle in your hand."

Editor’s message: In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.