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One punch can destroy lives

The tragic outcome of throwing just one punch has been highlighted once again this week with the death of former Australian surfing star Chris Davidson.

Chris died after being assaulted outside a pub in north Sydney. He was punched in the face and fell, hitting his head on the pavement.

Chris shot to fame as a 19-year-old in the Rip Curl Pro in 1996, where he beat the reigning world champion, Kelly Slater. Mr Slater commented: “Chris was one of the most naturally talented surfers I have ever known. He was a larger-than-life character and for his life to finish this way is really sad.” A man was arrested and will be in court in November after being refused bail.

Closer to home, the very same thing happened to a friend of Bonita Wolfenden, a solicitor at Switalskis.

Nathan Bagley was assaulted outside a Sheffield nightclub where he was celebrating the birthday of Bonita’s husband. Nathan was punched in the face in a completely unprovoked attack. Bonita commented: “We lost a good friend. The punch caused Nathan to fall backwards and hit his head; he never woke up. It was pointless violence that cost our friend his life.”

Nathan’s family described him as a handsome, thoughtful, loving and intelligent man. He had the world at his feet – he and his girlfriend were all set to leave the UK to work in Australia.

West Yorkshire Police say they are committed to tackling violent crime and want people to think about their actions before they get involved in a fight. Their ‘One Punch Can Kill’ campaign serves to remind people that in a split second a person can become a killer or be killed.

At Switalskis, our Brain Injury and Serious Injury team recently supported and filmed a video for the One Punch Awareness Week campaign promoted by the Brain Injury Group.

Maria Dallas, Switalskis Solicitors

Maria Dallas, personal injury lawyer commented: “We joined the campaign because one punch, one act without thought, can change the life of not only the person hit but also the lives of their friends and family. Things are often never the same again.

“Education on this is so important to help prevent these incidents from happening but it is also vital that the people affected know that there is a community out there to support them”.

One Punch UK was founded by Maxine Thompson-Curl after her son Kristian died after being assaulted in 2010.

Kristian suffered a catastrophic brain injury. He was in a coma for seven days and had surgery to repair his skull. Tragically, Maxine’s son died ten-months later, aged just 19 years. Maxine was determined that something positive would come from her son’s death and has campaigned for years to get justice for him.  Because of the lack of support and guidance available when she needed it most, she founded One Punch UK with the aim of raising awareness of the devastation that just one punch can do and also to educate people about the risk and especially the consequences of that split-second decision to throw that punch.

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