Family’s dismay as another life needlessly lost

Joyce Martin and Katie Harthen and, inset, Stuart Martin and Kevin Harrison
Joyce Martin and Katie Harthen and, inset, Stuart Martin and Kevin Harrison

The family of Stuart Martin, who was killed with a single punch, say the death of Kevin Harrison shows the senselessness of one-punch violence.

Ravi Sandhu, 24, of Bedford, was jailed for five years on Tuesday for manslaughter. He hit 48-year-old Mr Harrison, of Raunds, who died a week later in hospital.

Joyce Martin and Katie Harthen, mother and fiancee of Mr Martin who died after being punched once outside Bar Life nightclub in Wellingborough in 2010, have been championing a campaign called One Punch One Life, to warn people of the dangers of throwing just one punch.

Mr Harrison left behind family, including his wife Trish and his children Jack and Becky.

Joyce said she felt for the Harrison family for having to go through the experience of losing someone they love because of one punch.

She said: “It’s bad enough for the victims but then the ones who are left behind have to live with it for the rest of their lives. It’s awful to hear there’s another family going through what we are going through.

“We are doing the campaign because we will hopefully make a difference as time goes by.

“Stuart was punched from behind and Mr Harrison was punched and fell – that’s what we are telling schoolchildren, that something like that could happen in the playground. People have got to realise what can happen.”

Katie said: “I think when people hear that this has happened again it will make people think again that it does happen. It’s awful.”

Mrs Harrison has said she plans to campaign about one punch violence following her husband’s death.

Police who helped investigate Mr Harrison’s case have also spoken out on the issue.

Det Sgt Graham McMillan from the Beds and Herts Major Crime Unit said: “Sandhu didn’t mean to kill Kevin – but he did not give a second thought to the consequences of hitting Kevin full in the face.

“Whether he meant to kill him or not, the result was the same. The Harrison family have suffered, and continue to suffer, in the worst way possible.

“Unfortunately, police have to deal with this type of scenario all too often. Bravado or verbal arguments can lead to a situation which no-one intended, or imagined, could happen.”