Posted on Thursday 1 December 2022
The mother of a young man who was killed during a night out is reminding people of the devastating consequences just one punch can have as the party season begins.
Maxine Thompson-Curl is urging revellers to stop, think and walk away as she launches the 2022 Punched Out Cold campaign - now in its ninth year.
Mrs Thompson-Curl, along with her husband Anthony Curl, launched One Punch UK to raise awareness of the issue after her son Kristian Thompson died after being punched in the head during a night out in Consett, on his 19th birthday, in 2011.
Now more than a decade on, the couple, from South Shields, continue to work with families affected by incidents involving one punch and also educate young people on the potentially devastating impact their actions could have – speaking to 56,000 youngsters so far.
They officially launched the campaign at their headquarters in Sunderland this morning, along with Durham Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Tonya Antonis and retired sergeant Mick Urwin, Northumbria Police’s Serious Violence lead Chief Superintendent Helena Barron, and the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner, Joy Allen.
Mrs Thompson-Curl, said: “This campaign is so important to educate people what a single punch can and the devastation it can cause.
“The fist at the end of your arm is readily availably and you have to think about what you’re doing as that one decision could ruin a lot of lives – it’s that ripple effect.”
Mrs Thompson-Curl is also urging licensed premises and bar staff to be more alert to those who may drink to excess – a contributing factor to many one punch assaults.
“The lad who killed Kristian had been out on the drink all day so we know these incidents usually happen under the influence of alcohol. It’s about getting people to know their limits but also have those selling the alcohol to take some responsibility also.
“My main message is stop, think and walk away. Please think about me and the hundreds of other parents we now work with who have someone who is brain damaged and won’t have the same life ever again.”
ACC Antonis said: “This campaign is really important because it highlights how dangerous that one punch can be and it can have a massive impact not just on the victim but also the perpetrator too and their family and friends.
“We want people to enjoy themselves but also think about their actions and stop, think and walk away.”
Ch Supt Barron added: “We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable night out.
“The use of violence is never acceptable and there can be irreversible and tragic consequences – one punch can destroy so many lives.
“Our message to anyone who finds themselves in a situation where they are tempted to lash out is a simple one – stop and walk away.”
For more information about the campaign visit One Punch UK | United Kingdom | Charity