MP Emma Lewell-Buck says there is 'glimmer of hope' after she called for tougher sentences for one-punch killers

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck will continue to push for tougher punishments for one punch attackers.
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck will continue to push for tougher punishments for one punch attackers.

MP Emma Lewell-Buck has told of how she will keep pushing for tougher sentences for one-punch killers after raising the issue in Parliament.

The South Shields Labour MP called on the Government to follow Australia and Canada and create a one-punch law imposing a minimum sentence for perpetrators.

Kristian with girlfriend Emily.

Kristian with girlfriend Emily.

Read more: Tragic case of Kristian Thompson raised in Parliament as South Shields MP calls for tougher sentences for one-punch killers

Mrs Lewell-Buck spoke in Parliament on Tuesday, highlighting the issue on what would have been the 27th birthday of one-punch attack victim Kristian Thompson.

Kristian tragically died aged 19 after he was attacked on a night out with friends in Consett - where the family lived at the time - in September 2010.

His attacker Mark Berry was given a sentence of just over two years, but his family say he only served eight months.

Read more: Mum of one-punch tragedy teenager Kristian Thompson welcomes MP's call for tougher sentences

In Parliament Mrs Lewell-Buck said: "This week is One Punch Awareness Week when many people who have lost loved ones are pleading with the Government to follow Australia and Canada and create a one-punch law imposing a minimum sentence for perpetrators.

"Why are the Government continuing to resist doing so?"

Edward Argar, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, said he will look into what Mrs Lewell-Buck is proposing, and said he will respond in writing.

Commenting on the response, Mrs Lewell-Buck said: "I have raised it before in written questions and in the past they have always been reluctant to do anything or change the law.

"So it was interesting yesterday that they seem to have changed tact.

"The law has been in place in Australia and Canada do some time now.

"Historically there have been no plans to change the law here, as they were going to have a look at what is happening in Australia."

She continued: "Kristian's mam Maxine has worked tirelessly on this and has taken her message all over.

"I knew it was Kristian's birthday and thought it would be an appropriate time to raise it.

"Although it is not a definite response from the Government, I will be getting a letter together to write to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice and will keep pushing it now that there is a glimmer of hope."