THE Northern Echo weighed into the controversy over one punch killers more than 10 years ago when a guardsman, Andrew Gibson, was felled by a single punch in a Darlington nightclub and died six days later.

His 17-year-old killer was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for manslaughter, but served only 15 months.

The law is meant to protect people. It is meant to say that this sort of behaviour is beyond the pale. It is meant to remind that they have responsibilities by giving them serious penalties if they fail to live up to those responsibilities.

Due to the dangerous driving laws, most car motorists accept that their vehicles can be lethal weapons and so they drive appropriately. A similar message must go out to young people: however maddened you are, fists can also be a lethal weapon and you must behave appropriately.

The consequences on someone who is hit by a single punch can be devastating. That should be reflected in the punishment of someone who steps beyond the pale and delivers one.

The one punch killer of Dehenna Davison’s father, Dominic, served only 18 months of his sentence, and so we hope the Bishop Auckland MP’s new initiative can lead to a sentence that fits the crime and sends out a message that if you lose control of a lethal weapon, there will be serious consequences.