Cornwall man killed popular Truro market trader in 'senseless' one-punch attack

Paul Lyal-Venables initially told police that he had acted in self-defence but later retracted this and accepted that he had caused Luke’s death. Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

A Cornwall man has been jailed for five years for killing a "deeply loved" market trader in a one-punch attack.

Luke Pocock was hit in the head by Paul Lyal-Venables outside the Railway Social Club in Truro on 2 July last year.

The single punch saw him fall to the floor, which caused a catastrophic head injury. The 54-year-old died in hospital 26 days after the attack.

Lyal-Venables initially told police he was acting in self-defence when he hit Mr Pocock but he later admitted causing his death and pleaded guilty to manslaughter in March.

Luke Pocock died 26 days after being punched in the head outside a social club in Truro.

The 35-year-old, from St Agnes, has now been sentenced to five years in prison following a hearing before His Honour Judge Carr at Truro Crown Court.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Rob Smith said: “This was a tragic incident which led to Luke Pocock sadly losing his life last year.

“Lyal-Venables was initially arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent but was further arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after Luke passed away.

“The evidence has shown that Luke was assaulted in what was an unnecessary and senseless attack. This may have involved only a single punch, but the consequences have caused absolute devastation to the family and friends of all involved.

“I hope this incident will serve as a warning to others of the risks inherent in using violence against others and the damage that can cause.”

DI Smith said Luke was described as a kind and caring man with a "great sense of humour", adding he was "deeply loved" within his community.

“I would like to pay tribute to Luke’s family for the composure and dignity they have shown throughout this process and thank them for the support they have given to the police," DI Smith added.