THE MOTHER of a young man who died after a one-punch attack during a night out is teaming up with Durham Police to urge revellers to drink responsibly this weekend.

The first pubs and bars are due to reopen after three-months of lockdown on Saturday.

But Maxine Thompson-Curl is urging people to "take it steady" when they do decide to go back to the pub. Her son, Kristian Thompson, died in July 2011 after being punched in the head during a night out in Consett in September 2010.

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.

The Northern Echo:

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 Police at their headquarters on Wednesday, Mrs Thompson-Curl urged everyone thinking about going back to the pub to think twice about their actions and consider their limits.

The 54-year-old 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.

“Of course people want to have fun but I just want them to be sensible and think about what it would mean if they were in my situation.

“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, of South Shields, 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.

“We’d urge people to be sensible, think smart and keep safe.” #BeSensibleThinkSmartKeepSafe

Officers will be out in force this weekend across County Durham and Darlington to help keep people safe if they do decide to return to the pub.

The force has also been working closely with its partners to ensure licensees are aware of their responsibilities and promote responsible drinking.

Chief Constable Jo Farrell said: “We are really pleased to see the pubs and bars reopening but we would urge people to act responsibly when the restrictions are lifted.

“Coronavirus remains a real risk to public health and we have seen some irresponsible behaviour nationally in terms of mass gatherings and antisocial behaviour.

“The vast majority of drinkers are responsible but we know some people will drink to excess or cause harm to others so we would encourage everyone in County Durham and Darlington to think twice about their actions and enjoy their weekend safely.

“The key advice is to know your limits and consider how you will get home safely.”