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Single punch family welcomes sentence guidance review
Updated 3:21pm Thursday 8th May 2014 in News
THE sister of a father-of three who died after being attacked outside a pub has welcomed a review of the way criminals who kill with a single punch are sentenced.
The decision by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling to examine sentencing guidelines for one-punch killers follows The Northern Echo's Price of a Punch campaign.
Mr Grayling stepped in after the Court of Appeal ruled a four-year sentence for manslaughter given to a man who hit an Asperger's sufferer in an unprovoked attack was not unduly lenient.
Andrew Young, 40, died after being punched once by Lewis Gill in Bournemouth on November 6 last year.
In April 2011, Anthony Hancock died three days after being attacked outside The Beehive, in Bishop Auckland.
Mr Hancock suffered a serious brain injury when his head hit the pavement.
Local man Lee Ballan was later jailed for three years and eight months after admitting the manslaughter of Mr Hancock.
But Mr Hancock's family said the sentence was unduly lenient.
His sister, Julie Richards, of Bishop Auckland, today (Thursday, May 8) welcomed the Justice Secretary's decision to review single punch sentences.
She said: "I don't think the sentence that my brother's killer received was enough - he only did 18 months which is nothing for a life.
"Criminals who commit financial crime such as fraud get more."
Ms Richards said the pain of her brother's violent death never went away.
"We are the ones who received a life sentence," she added.
Gill's sentence was referred to the Appeal Court by Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who argued that it was not a proper reflection of the gravity of the offence.
But three judges in London decided there should not be any change to the four years being served by Gill, 21, of Sutton in south London, who admitted manslaughter.
Mr Grayling said that he had now asked the Sentencing Council to consider whether "further guidance" was needed for judges in handling such cases.
The Price of a Punch campaign was launched after 19-year-old Andrew Gibson, a soldier based at Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, died six days after being punched in Escapades nightclub, in Darlington.
Seventeen-year-old John Flannigan was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for the manslaughter.
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