This year’s ‘One-Punch’ Awareness Week takes place between 18 – 22 September 2023. Hugh James is proud to be associated with the charity One Punch UK and to show our support our teams will be wearing something red or blue to help raise funds for the charity and to promote ‘One-Punch’ Awareness Week. One Punch Awareness Week is supported by various organisations, including the Brain Injury Group.
‘One Punch UK’ was set up in 2014 by Maxine Curl and her partner Anthony after suffering the tragic loss of Maxine’s son, Kristian Thompson. At the age of 19, Kristian was the victim of an unprovoked attack and punched in the head on a night out. He unfortunately sustained a catastrophic and fatal brain injury. ‘One Punch UK’ aims to highlight the dangers of one punch assaults and prevent sudden acts of violence. They have attempted to achieve this by running workshops in schools and colleges, prisons and probation hubs and other workplaces across the Northeast. Other initiatives have included placing beer mats in pubs and bars with warnings about the impact of violence. One Punch UK also provide counselling and support to other families who have been affected by one punch deaths.
The Hugh James Serious Injury Team unfortunately see at first-hand, the utter devastation that ‘one punch’ violence can have on the victim, their families, local communities, and indeed, on the perpetrator.
Case study: Peter*
In the spring of 2022, Peter, a 28-year-old, was struck in the street whilst on a night out in Cheltenham. Peter was struck once, causing him to fall backwards and hit his head. Peter unfortunately sustained a severe traumatic brain injury. He remains mentally and physically disabled as a result of the one punch assault and will require care for the rest of his life.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Scheme provides an avenue for innocent victims of violent crime to apply for compensation. The Hugh James Serious Injury Team represents Peter in his claim to the CICA.
Unfortunately, the circumstances involved in Peter’s injuries are all too commonplace. Over the last 15 years, at least one hundred people have been killed in the UK by one punch assaults, with many more being left seriously injured.
There is a growing movement demanding that people who launch unprovoked assaults or ‘one punch attacks’ which result in serious injury or death are jailed for longer sentences than at present. Maxine and Anthony are working closely with Dehenna Davison, MP for the Bishop Auckland Constituency and Patron of One Punch UK, whose father also lost his life due to a single punch attack. Dehenna launched the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on One Punch Assaults in 2021, working with One Punch UK to investigate justice and sentencing reform and raise awareness that one punch can kill.
If you would like to support One Punch Awareness Week, donations can be made online via One Punch UK’s website.
Author: Ellis Meade is a solicitor in the Serious Injury Team and represents clients who have suffered life changing injuries following assaults, road traffic collisions and accidents at work.