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Brother of manslaughter victim supports police campaign to end ‘One Punch’ deaths

29 November 2017

Dorset Police is launching its ‘One Punch’ campaign with the release of an emotive video to highlight the consequences of confrontation and violence.   

View the video on our #OnePunch campaign page >

In 2016, the Force dealt with almost 10,000 crimes involving violence, with four people tragically losing their life from injuries sustained by a single punch.   

Dorset Police is working with Dr Jonny Coxon on its #OnePunch campaign to highlight the dangers of being involved in violence after his brother, David Coxon, was tragically killed by a single punch while he was at a scooter rally at Sandford Holiday Park in March 2016.   

David was knocked to the ground by Jason James, an amateur boxer and roofer from Newton Abbot in Devon, while the pair were visiting Dorset with other members of the Cider Commandos of Newton Abbot Scooter Club.   

James initially fled the scene before returning a few hours later to hand himself into officers. Paramedics attended but sadly David was pronounced dead at the scene.  

The court heard both the defendant and the victim had gone into the bushes to urinate when James ‘felt something warm’ on his leg and subsequently punched David. A post-mortem examination established that the cause of death was a head injury likely to have been caused by one event.  

James admitted manslaughter and was sentenced to four years in prison at Winchester Crown Court in April 2016.   

The #OnePunch campaign aims to encourage people who find themselves involved in a confrontation or argument to stop, think about their actions and the potential consequences and walk away.  

It will include a series of videos released on social media along with bar mats and posters being given to licensed premises across Dorset to promote the campaign. Anyone arrested for common assault, actual bodily harm or grievous bodily harm will also be given a leaflet while in custody, giving them more information about how the consequences of their actions could have resulted in tragedy.   

Dr Jonny Coxon, said; “Just after he died when all the tributes were coming in, I genuinely lost count of the number of times people described him as the ‘gentle giant’. We chose the words on his gravestone really carefully and I think the last few sum him up really well, it finishes – big man, big laugh, big heart. That was him.   

“Losing your brother is unimaginably devastating. I still get flashbacks of the last time Mum and I saw his body lying in the morgue; cold and lifeless. That’s where we got to say our last goodbye.   

“If this campaign can help to drive home the destruction that comes from that one moment of losing self-control - the flying fist and suddenly someone has potentially become a killer. If there is a hint of a chance that someone in that situation can remember something like this and pause, take a moment and walk away, I think lives can be changed and saved.   

“We don’t live in the movies and in real life, it can take just one punch and sometimes people just don’t get back up.”  

Superintendent Jared Parkin, of Dorset Police, said; “We have been working with Dr Jonny Coxon to produce a series of videos to share over the coming weeks and I’m sure anyone watching them will get a real sense of the heartbreak and devastation this tragedy has caused the victim’s family.    

“A single act and that split second decision can cause devastating lasting damage to numerous lives. Last year, Dorset Police dealt with 9,868 crimes involving an element of violence, any of which could have turned deadly.   

“Alcohol plays a major role in violent crime and national statistics show that 53% of violent incidents involving adults were alcohol-related, most commonly involving male victims.  

“At this time of the year we see more people heading out to celebrate, enjoying Christmas parties and socialising with colleagues who you often wouldn’t be out drinking with. We would encourage everyone to think about their actions and how easily a momentary decision can affect the rest of your life and potentially end others.”   

You can keep up to date with the campaign by visiting www.dorset.police.uk/OnePunch or following the #OnePunch hashtag on social media. 

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