May 28, 2021 1.37 pm This story is over 14 months old

One punch can kill: Police campaign after trio of tragic assaults

Two victims died and one was left with brain damage

Lincolnshire Police has launched a #OnePunchCanKill campaign to raise awareness of the devastating impact one punch can have after three assaults last year saw two men sadly die and another left with brain damage.

Luke Templeman struck Danny Maguire, 34, in the face in a pub beer garden in Grantham on February 28 last year with such force that the victim fell hitting his head on the ground.

Maguire was standing with his arms by his side and posing no threat to Templeman when he was struck, never regained consciousness and later passed away in hospital on March 6. Templeman was sentenced to four years and eight months in jail after admitting to the manslaughter of Mr Maguire.

Danny Maguire, 34, died following an incident on February 28. Photo: JustGiving

Danny’s sister Melanie Spate, who is from Nottinghamshire, has bravely chosen to support police’s new campaign and said: “What can start out as a fun night drinking with friends can easily turn into a nightmare that can ruin so many lives. Please, if you ever face confrontation be the better person and walk away.”

Gediminas Vaitkus died after a one punch assault in Red Lion Street in Boston on July 28, 2020. Hikmet Maez, 19, pleaded guilty to the charge of manslaughter and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Mark Hatcher, 47, was rushed to hospital after an assault in the street near the Black Bull in Donington on January 4 last year. He was left with brain damage and in a coma. Paul Hayes, 47, of Donington, was jailed for three years.

These men were all jailed for one punch assaults in Lincolnshire. Left to right – Luke Templeman, Hikmet Maez, and Paul Hayes. | Photo: Lincolnshire Police

As part of the force’s ongoing work to reduce violent crime, Lincolnshire Police is working with registered charity OnePunchUK to raise awareness of the devastation that a one punch assault can have on the victim and their families.

OnePunchUK was founded by Maxine Thompson-Curl whose son Kristian was tragically killed following a one punch attack while on a night in Consett, County Durham. Kristian, aged 19, was in a coma for more than a week and survived for 10 months but died in 2011.

One punch could shatter your world. | Photo: Lincolnshire Police

Melanie Spate statement in full

“My brother, Danny Maguire went out after work for a drink on Friday 28th February 2020. He had a heated discussion with a man in a pub beer garden later on that evening.

“The man walked away and then turned around and decided to punch my brother in the face. My brother fell back, hit his head and was knocked unconscious. He never woke up again. A week later he died in hospital from his injuries.

“My family and I spent every day at the hospital with him hoping and praying he would survive. It has absolutely broken us as a family.

“Our parents could not cope with being there whilst his machines, that were keeping him alive, were turned off.

“I sat and held my brother’s hand while his life support was turned off and he took his last breaths. I do not wish that on anyone. My husband came with me and witnessed me walk out the room and collapse on the floor whilst screaming like an animal in pain. I wish he hadn’t had to see that.

“I am so proud of my brother as he was an organ donor. His death meant he was able to help three men by donating both his kidneys and his heart.

“My brother has a nine-year-old son who now has to live his life without his Daddy. I have a six-year-old son who absolutely adored his Uncle and struggled to comprehend why he could no longer see him. I have laid in bed at night with my son while he has been sobbing asking if his Uncle can come back from heaven. He is scared that his Mummy or Daddy might die and leave him.

“My parents are broken. They cannot bear to talk about anything that has happened. My Mum is heartbroken. I witness her on a regular basis falling apart because she has lost her boy. My grief has been bubbling under the surface since it happened.

“I have had to stay strong for my son, my nephew and my parents. Now, over a year later it is hitting me again. I genuinely do not know how my family, or I will ever be the same again. I have experienced loss in my life, but nothing prepares you for losing a love one in this way. A senseless act that has left a young boy without his Daddy and for what? I urge people to think about how their actions can change people’s lives in seconds.

“What can start out as a fun night drinking with friends can easily turn into a nightmare that can ruin so many lives. Please, if you ever face confrontation be the better person and walk away.”