Charity bike ride marks anniversary of man killed by one punch

Family and friends greet cyclists Credit: ITV Central

The family and friends of a man who died after being punched during a night out in Nottingham in July last year have cycled almost 200 miles to the city in his memory.

James Hodgkinson, 28, had travelled from London with his brother and father to watch a cricket match at Trent Bridge. As the three men enjoyed a drink at a bar in the Old Market Square, James was punched in an unprovoked attack. He fell to the floor and hit his head, and later died from his injuries in hospital.

19-year-old Jacob Dunne admitted manslaughter at Nottingham Crown Court in October and was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Today, around twenty-five members of his family and friends arrived in Old Market Square in Nottingham after a two-day bike ride that started in Suffolk on Friday (3rd August).

The ride will raise money for Community Service Volunteers (CSV) for which James, a student paramedic, was volunteering as a mentor to young people in care.

Nottinghamshire Police started its "One Punch" campaign in December, prompted by the death of James. They hope to raise awareness that one punch can prove fatal.

"One Punch" facts:

  • Over the past ten years there have been eight confirmed deaths from ‘one punch’ incidents in Nottinghamshire, including three in 2011 alone.
  • The average age of victims is 25 years old, and the attackers’ average age is just 21.

Detective Inspector Rob McKinnell, who led the investigation into James’s death, said:

“The impact of that punch also reverberates well beyond assailant and victim. The devastation it causes to the families of victims can never be overstated, while the relatives of offenders will also be forced to come to terms with the actions of their family member.

“Our message is to think twice before you act. Realise, too, that although you might feel invincible, you could just as easily end up being the victim. If you are out in a group, look out for one another. Ensure friends don’t put themselves in a potentially violent situation and, if need be, help them to get home.”