Police have reiterated the potentially devastating consequences of one-punch attacks after a South Shields man died while his attacker was behind bars.
Connor Jary, 20, was already serving a three-year jail term for inflicting grievous bodily harm when Calvin McLellan died from his injuries in April last year.
The father-of-two was the victim of a vicious attack close to Mile End Road, South Shields, in August 2016, as Jary lashed out at him with a single punch.
Mr McLellan suffered catastrophic damage to his brain and spent eight months in a coma.
He never recovered and died from his injuries.
Jary, of Moreland Road, South Shields, was convicted but has since pleaded guilty to manslaughter following Mr McLellan’s death.
Today, Jary appeared before Newcastle Crown Court and received an 18-month extension to his sentence.
Now police have again highlighted the dangers of one-punch attacks and offered their condolences to Mr McLellan’s family.
Detective Sergeant Dave Henderson, of Northumbria Police, said: “It has been a traumatic time for the family ever since the attack on Calvin almost two years ago which ultimately led to his death.
“I would like to pay tribute to them for not only their help and cooperation but the bravery they have shown throughout this investigation.
"They have supported police at every opportunity and have handled themselves with great dignity during an incredibly difficult period.
“Unfortunately, we have seen once again the devastating consequences of one-punch attacks, and the actions of Connor Jary in August 2016 caused a father-of-two to needlessly lose his life.
“Throughout the investigation, Calvin’s family have quite rightly wanted somebody to be held accountable for their son’s fatal injuries.
“I sincerely hope that other people will look at this case and recognise the devastating impact that one-punch attacks can have.
"A single punch can ruin more than one life.”
The court was told Jary had been drinking with friends all day in Sunderland on August 6, 2016, before returning to South Shields in the early hours of August 7.
It was there that he attacked Mr McLellan outside a pizza shop, with a single punch causing the victim to bang his head on the floor.
“Alcohol is so often a factor in one-punch incidents and this is another example of the severe consequences of drinking too much and overstepping the mark,” Det Sgt Henderson added.
“Mr McLellan’s tragic death is the sad reality of what can happen as a result of a single punch.
"Often people do not realise the consequences of their actions after having a drink.
"Split-second actions can lead to devastating life-long consequences.
“By drinking responsibly, controlling your anger and walking away, you could not only save your own life, but someone else’s too.”