A man who threw a punch, which resulted in a paramedic sustaining fatal head injuries, wants to use his experience to warn others of the impact ‘one punch’ can have.
Jacob Dunne, 24, was 19, when he struck paramedic James Hodgkinson, 28, who was visiting Nottingham to watch the cricket at Trent Bridge in August 2011.
An argument with Jacob’s friends over fancy dress, saw Jacob arrive at the scene and hit out, causing James to fall, striking his head on the floor. Nine days later, he died.
While in prison for manslaughter, Jacob struggled to come to terms with the impact his crime had had.
After Jacob was released, James’ parents, Joan Scourfield and David Hodgkinson, contacted him as part of charity Remedi’s restorative justice programme, where they talked through the devastation caused by Jacob’s actions. Over two and a half years they communicated, before they finally met up.
Jacob continues to turn his life around; he is studying Criminology at university, and plans to do workshops in schools and colleges to educate others about life skills, decision-making and the impact of ‘one punch.’
Jacob said: “I remember vaguely leaving my group of friends and being in another bar, and then receiving a call saying something had kicked off and where they were. So I went running off to where they were, and that is where I can vaguely remember there being an altercation, and I didn’t even know what it was for, but I threw a punch.
“When police officers told me I was arrested for James’ death, I sat there and thought what have I done? When David and Joan contacted me, I began to realise there were people who were more of a victim than me.
“I have the motivation, having met James’ parents, to know why I want to keep going and why I can’t give up on my dreams. Although I have experienced a lot of barriers and prejudice, David and Joan’s support has given me the resilience to keep raising awareness and getting the message out there. I am determined to be a better person and to stop others from making the same mistake I did.
“People don’t need to come across all macho, it is better for people to walk away than find themselves in a prison cell because they threw a punch which killed someone.”
Jacob featured on a Channel 5 documentary called ‘One-punch killers’ yesterday, Monday August 15.