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Facebook campaign warns that "One Punch Can Kill" after deadly UK assault

Date: 2011-06-24
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Facebook Group Seeks to Raise Awareness About Deadly, Unprovoked Assaults

A new group that has been created on Facebook to raise awareness of violent assaults in England hopes to gained attention in both political and public safety circles.  The group, called ONE PUNCH CAN KILL, was created by British writer John Mansell, whose son died last April due after suffering brain damage when he was severely beaten in an unprovoked assault. 

“The purpose of this group is to raise awareness of the senseless attacks and vicious and needless violence that is rife in cities throughout the UK and the entire world,” said Mansell. “The aim of ONE PUNCH CAN KILL is to raise awareness of this type of assault and also enlist the help of the police, the government, and any such organizations.”

Mansell wants people to be aware of the fact that a single punch can indeed be deadly.  “My son Ashley was attacked in 2009 and suffered terrible injuries to his brain; he underwent numerous operations and procedures but after two years his body could take no more and he sadly died on April 12th, 2011.”   Ashley’s attacker was convicted of assault and sentenced to a jail term of 40 months.

The Facebook group now has nearly 3400 members.  Mansell said: “One moment of senseless violence can cause a lifetime of anguish and devastates the victims' families.  After Ashley died we began to realize we were not the only family to be affected by one of these senseless and vicious attacks, and it soon became clear that a night out, a day in the park, or even a day at work could quite easily end in tragedy.”

Mansell’s experience with his son recalls another brutal beating in the USA which has particular resonance within the public safety community.  On March 31, 2011, California paramedic Bryan Stow was severely beaten in an unprovoked attack after a baseball game, and remains hospitalized (See:  A Facebook page in support of Stow has also been launched. 

A report in the UK newspaper The Argus about Mansell’s group (see: here) cited several other reports of persons who have died after being punched – including the young man who shared Ashley’s hospital room.  

With ONE PUNCH CAN KILL, Mansell also hopes to raise the attention of hospital emergency departments, which in Ashley’s case mistook his traumatic head injury for an episode of drunkenness, and escorted him off the premises.  “When a head injury is admitted the patient should be scanned straight away and not left in a corridor or sent away because the staff cannot tell the difference between a drunk and a head trauma patient,” said Mansell.  “In my son’s case he was ignored, then was ejected because he was combative; the combative element is all part and parcel of a head injury, so why do nursing staff not know this?”

The ONE PUNCH CAN KILL Facebook page can be found here.




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