February 5, 2021 4.03 pm This story is over 17 months old

Man jailed over one punch assault, as brain damaged victim still in coma

The victim’s brain injury is permanent

A man has been jailed for three years after an assault in a village pub near Spalding left his victim with brain damage and still in a coma.

Paul Hayes, 46, was drinking in the Black Bull in Donington at around 11.30pm on January 4 last year.

Mark Hatcher, also 46, from Donington had also been drinking in the pub that evening and was asked to leave by a staff member.

After leaving he was confronted by Hayes and a verbal argument broken out between the two men outside the pub, which carried on up the street.

The two men began walking towards each other, leading to an altercation during which Mr Hatcher was punched and fell to the ground.

Mr Hatcher was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery on a significant brain injury, but has never regained consciousness.

His family were subsequently given the news that Mr Hatcher had received a permanent brain injury and would no longer be able to live independently.

Hayes was arrested and later charged with GBH. He was found guilty at Lincoln Crown Court this week and sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Detective Inspector Paul Coleman said: “This was a tragic incident that had catastrophic consequences. It has left Mr Hatcher suffering severe brain damage, needing 24 hour care and in a condition from which he is likely to never recover.

“The unintended consequences of Paul Hayes’s actions should serve as a stark warning that one punch can have very serious consequences on the life of the defendant and that of the victim and their family.”

Meanwhile, Lincolnshire Police is working with OnePunchUK to raise awareness of the devastating effects one punch assaults can have.