UNDER our Price of a Punch campaign, The Northern Echo has been calling for tougher sentences for once-punch killers, and highlighting the fatal consequences that a single act of violence can have, since 2010.

The campaign was launched after a man who killed a young soldier in Darlington was jailed for just two and a half years, serving only 15 months for the crime.

Tragically, many more people have lost their lives to one-off attacks since then, and while the recent upsurge in knife crime has rightly brought national headlines, the danger of a single punch should also be highlighted.

Iain Lee lost his life to just such an attack outside a pub in Newton Aycliffe. Today his killer, Nathan Robbie Buckland, was jailed for eight years after being convicted of manslaughter. The jury at Newcastle Crown Court cleared him of murder.

One act of violence cost Mr Lee his life, Buckland his liberty, and left the victim’s family in pieces.

Judge Christopher Butcher told the court how Mr Lee’s mother, Diane “has an emptiness inside”. He added: “The tears flow spontaneously; she is no longer the person she was before Iain Lee died.

“She is living a whole life sentence of heartache and misery.”

That devastation is the consequence one punch can have, and anyone out on the town who ends up involved in a violent confrontation needs to realise how many lives could be ruined in just a few seconds.