A CAMPAIGN to raise awareness of the potentially fatal dangers of ‘one punch’ attacks has reached the highest echelons of power.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab congratulated Bishop Auckland’s MP on her tenacity after she raised the issue in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Dehenna Davison, who lost her own father, Dominic, in such an attack when she was 13, launched the All-Party Parliamentary Group earlier this year on the 14th anniversary of his death in a Sheffield pub.

Speaking during PMQs, Ms Davison, who represented her family at the criminal injuries compensation tribunal aged just 16, said: “Part of the reason I stand in this chamber today follows a chain reaction of events following the death of my father from a single punch assault.

“My dad is just one of many victims, which is why this week we are marking One Punch Awareness Week.

Ms Davison asked Mr Raab and politicians from across the house the join her in Westminster Hall after the session to show their support.

Mr Raab replied: “I know how much this campaign means to her personally and I know that honourable members from across the house are very proud of the tenacious way she is pursuing that campaign.

“Of course, I will join her in Westminster Hall and I would encourage all honourable members to do the same.”

County Durham mother and campaigner Maxine Thompson-Curl launched the One Punch North East charity after her 19-year-old son, Kristian, from Burnopfield, died months after he was fatally struck during a night out in a Consett club.

As part of One Punch Awareness Week, Ms Thompon-Curl met with Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen and Darlington Borough Council’s deputy leader Cllr Jonathan Dulston.

She said: “We are so happy that we have the continuous support from Joy Allen and the PCC Office.

“We are looking forward to working alongside Councillor Dulston to make positives changes around Darlington and Durham.”

Joy Allen said one of her key priorities is to help promote awareness of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption through engagement with charities such as One Punch North East.

She said: “I fully support the One Punch campaign, helping to raise awareness of the consequences that one punch can have on somebody’s life.”

Kristian, who did not smoke, was 18 when he was punched while in a toilet at K2 nightclub in 2010 because he was unable to give his attacker a cigarette.

He died ten months later, but Mark Berry who threw the fatal blow served just 28 months for GBH.

North West Durham MP Richard Holden, who is backing his neighbouring MP’s campaign, said: “One punch assaults are dangerous and sadly often fatal.

“People in Consett will have heard the terrible story of Kristian, so I know how much such action will mean to his family and those who live there.

“I was glad to join Dehenna Davison MP and many other colleagues from across the house today to raise awareness of the destruction cases like this can cause.”

Ms Davison and Mrs Thompon-Curl are supported by The Northern Echo, which in 2010 launched its own Price of a Punch campaign, calling for tougher sentences for one-punch killers, after 21-year-old soldier Andrew Gibson was killed during a night out in Darlington.

His killer, 17-year-old John Flannigan, was jailed for only two-and-a-half years.

Cllr Dulston said: “Tragically, we have seen all too many times the devastating impact a single punch can have.

“I’m proud to stand alongside Maxine and Joy in promoting this campaign, to raise awareness of the consequences a single moment of violence can bring.”

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054