Mum of one-punch tragedy teenager Kristian Thompson urges drinkers to be responsible as pubs reopen
The mum of a teenager who was killed on a night out is urging people to drink responsibly as pubs reopen for the first time since lockdown began.
The first pubs and bars are due to reopen after three months of lockdown on Saturday, July 4.
But mum Maxine Thompson-Curl is urging drinkers to take it steady when they do decide to go back to the pub.
Her son, Kristian Thompson, died after being punched in the head during a night out in Consett, on his 19th birthday, in 2011.
Since then, Mrs Thompson-Curl has led a campaign to raise awareness about the devastating impact drink-fuelled violence can have, while supporting other families in similar situations.
She set up One Punch North East as a campaigning group in 2014, now a registered charity, and has spoken to thousands of schoolchildren across the region about what happened to Kristian.
Joining Durham Constabulary at Headquarters today (Wednesday, July 1), Mrs Thompson-Curl urged people to think twice about their actions and consider their limits when going back to the pub.
The 54-year-old, from South Shields, said: “What scares me is that people are going to get drunk and lose control after three months of lockdown – inevitably some people are going to get hurt.
“Everyone will be going out to enjoy themselves and no one knowingly goes on a night out to kill someone, but it happens, and I just want people to be aware of their actions.”
Mrs Thompson-Curl added: “I would urge you all to look out for each other and stay safe – we are proof of how much trauma that one punch can do to everyone involved.”
Officers will be out across County Durham and Darlington to help keep people safe if they do decide to return to the pub this weekend.
Chief Constable Jo Farrell added: “We are really pleased to see the pubs and bars reopening but we would urge people to act responsibly when the restrictions are lifted.
“The key advice is to know your limits and consider how you will get home safely.”