A MOTHER whose son died following a nightclub attack has issued a stark warning in the run up to Christmas – one drunken punch could send you to prison and send someone else to the morgue.
Maxine Thompson-Curl is again fronting One Punch UK’s annual festive campaign in a bid to make people think carefully about their behaviour over the Christmas and New Year period.
Her son Kristian, from Burnopfield, fell and hit his head when he was the victim of a single punch assault in Consett, in 2010. He died in a treatment centre in Northampton, ten months later, aged just 19.
Mrs Thompson-Curl set up One Punch North East as a campaigning group in 2014 and is now chief executive of the registered charity, renamed One Punch UK.
Today, she teamed up with Durham Police’s Chief Constable Jo Farrell and Acting Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Steve White and Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuiness to launch its seventh annual Punched Out Cold campaign.
They said that whilst the party season will be unlike previous years, due to Covid-19 restrictions, it is still vital people know the devastating consequences a single punch can have, especially when fuelled by alcohol.
Mrs Thompson-Curl said: “Kristian was taken from us by just one punch, from a lad who was under the influence of alcohol.
“I want people to think twice, especially this year when it’s been hard for everyone and they might get carried away if they can go to the pub.
“We all have a responsibility to make sure there’s not more parents like me.”
Chief Constable Farrell added: “We know this has been a difficult year for everyone but the message has never been more important in asking people to keep that degree of control when it comes to alcohol.
“We would normally do most of our work around licensed premises which has been more challenging with the pandemic but I would urge everyone to enjoy themselves responsibly.”
Mr White said: “I fully support the Punched Out Cold Campaign across County Durham and Darlington which raises awareness about the devastation one punch assault can cause.
“Young people need to be reminded how easy it is to cause serious injury resulting in a lifetime of regret.
“Drinking too much alcohol can make people vulnerable to becoming a victim or perpetrator.
“I want people to drink responsibly, make sensible choices and consider how too much alcohol can affect decision making.
“The consequence of a split second decision to engage in violence can be devastating and I urge people to recognise the impact that one punch violence can have on victims and their families.”
For more information visit onepunch.org.uk/PunchedOutCold or search for @OnePunchNE on Facebook and Twitter.