Mum of one-punch tragedy teenager Kristian Thompson welcomes MP's call for tougher sentences
The mum of a teenager who died after a one punch attack has spoken of what a call for tougher sentences in Parliament means to her.
Maxine Thompson-Curl, from Whitburn, set up charity One Punch UK after the tragic loss of her son Kristian Thompson in July 2011.
Kristian was just 19 when he died following devastating injuries he sustained when he was attacked on a night out with friends in Consett - where the family lived at the time - in September 2010 .
The punch left him in a coma for five days and he underwent surgery to remove part of his skull, and the front lobe of his brain.
Kristian lived for 10 months before he died in July 2011.
His attacker Mark Berry was given a sentence of just over two years, but his family say he only served eight months.
They have been campaigning for tougher sentences for perpetrators ever since.
And on what would have been Kristian's 27th birthday, the issue was raised in Parliament by South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck on Tuesday, as part of One Punch Awareness Week.
Mrs Lewell-Buck called on fellow MPs to back a mandatory sentence for attacks where one punch results in a death.
Maxine, 54, who runs the charity One Punch UK, said: "I am overjoyed that we have had this opportunity.
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"We went down to the Houses of Parliament with Emma two years ago and raised quite a bit of awareness.
"The sentencing for one punch perpetrators isn't fair.
"No two people get the same sentence so there is no continuity or deterrent."
In Parliament Mrs Lewell-Buck said: "This week is One Punch Awareness Week when many people who have lost loved ones are pleading with the Government to follow Australia and Canada and create a one-punch law imposing a minimum sentence for perpetrators.
"Why are the Government continuing to resist doing so?"
Edward Argar, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, said he will look into what Mrs Lewell-Buck is proposing, and said he will respond in writing.
Maxine continued: "On average people are sent away for three years and they only serve a year and a half of that.
"In Kristian's case the perpetrator served just eight months of a two and a half year sentence.
"It is very frustrating for grieving parents and very important to try and get justice.
"I am overjoyed it was mentioned in House of Parliament and hope that we can fully move forward with it."
The charity is appealing for funds to help it continue its vital work to support victims and their families.
Anyone interested in donating to the charity or coming on board as a sponsor is asked to contact One Punch UK directly via www.onepunch.org.uk