Hudgell Solicitors supports charity ‘One Punch Hull & East Yorkshire’ to prevent violent assaults following death of Scott Akester

hudgell solicitors supports family of scott akester and charity one punch hull and east yorkshir
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Tracy Thames

Litigation Executive

5 min read time
15 Nov 2023

Scott Akester was 31 years-old when he died. His sudden death shattered the lives of those he left behind including his young daughter, his partner Naomi and his parents Debbie and Steve.

Scott died after he was punched by a long-time friend on a night out. The assault caused him to fall and hit his head on the ground. He later died in hospital of his brain injuries with his family around him.

The man responsible for that ‘one punch’ denied murder but was found guilty of manslaughter and received a seven-and-a-half-year jail sentence.

One year on from that night out, his family have rallied to set up a Hull and East Yorkshire based charity to support others who will be left to cope with the consequences of similar acts of violence that result in a loved one’s death or serious brain injuries.

 

“Setting up the charity in memory of Scott has helped us move forward with our lives,” says his mother Debbie Akester, “it has given us a focus, it really is a positive thing to do and it’s close to our hearts. We have lost Scott, but we are here now to help others,” she added.

The charity set-up by Debbie and Scott’s father Steve and partner Naomi, One Punch Hull & East Yorkshire, has now received its official charity status and Debbie says it can make a real difference.

“The charity is also about raising awareness of the dangers of these acts of anger and violence. Scott didn’t have to die, there was no reason for it, it wasn’t self-defence by the person who hit him.

“People need to better understand that you can walk away and not escalate arguments. You don’t have to throw that needless punch and ruin lives, situations can be de-escalated,” she said.

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The aim of One Punch Hull & East Yorkshire is to eventually open a support centre in Hull, but its immediate work will be to offer presentations and educational talks in workplaces, schools and colleges and in sports and leisure clubs.

“The aim is to support awareness of the risks of one punch attacks and the impact on family and friends, to help everyone understand the risks. Also, we aim to educate people on what the alternatives are in those heated moments you find yourself in.

“We also explain how to deal with peer pressures around fighting and violence, so people know there are other options to cope with those situations.

“Our message is to stop, think and walk away from an argument or a fight. It could save yours or another person’s life. Perhaps, if this had been available to others earlier Scott may still be with us,” said Debbie.

The charity offers support to others who have lost a loved one following a violent assault and those who will have to go through the experience of attending court to hear evidence in a subsequent legal case.

“People from Hull, and from all over the country, have contacted us who have had similar experiences to us, they have also had to sit through a court case they were unprepared for. Now we can help explain the process and what will happen and help them prepare and be there for them,” says Debbie.

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Hudgell Solicitors is supporting One Punch Hull & East Yorkshire as it represents many families in criminal injury cases following the death of a loved one or those who have been left with serious brain injuries following a violent assault.

Hudgells’ litigation executive Tracy Thames, an expert in criminal injuries who supports clients and their families following violent assaults, said, “What happened to Scott and the pain and devastation his family are having to cope with is unbearable.

“We fully appreciate and understand how they will have been left to pick up the pieces following a fatal assault. The help needed by Scott’s family, and others like them, will be long term.

“They may need support accessing Bereavement Awards from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) to cover funeral expenses and then advice on ensuring children, and other close family members left behind, are fully compensated for their loss, which can be a complex process at a difficult and emotional time in their lives.

“I also appreciate that families who are grieving may also need emotional support and it’s important that there are charities out there who can provide that.

“At Hudgells we want to actively support organisations like One Punch Hull & East Yorkshire which can make a positive difference to people’s lives following these awful instances of violence that no family can be prepared for.”

In memory of Scott Akester, on Sunday 19th November 2023, a year after his death, his family will be celebrating his life with a ‘family day’ at Soccer Sensations in East Hull.

“We have 12 teams competing in a five-a-side tournament, mostly made up of Scott’s friends who also really want to keep his memory going and have been busy fundraising in his name,” says Debbie.

“The day will help promote the charity too, and we now have hats, t-shirts, hoodies and pin-badges to help raise One Punch Hull &East Yorkshire’s profile, so people know we are here to help them.”

The family are also working with Humberside Police with a Christmas and New Year campaign aimed at preventing violence during the holiday season in bars, pubs and clubs.

For more information on the support provided by the charity visit its website: One Punch Hull & East Yorkshire.

For more on how Hudgell Solicitors supports families read more: Experts in Fatal Criminal Injuries 


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Hudgell Solicitors supports charity ‘One Punch Hull & East Yorkshire’ to prevent violent assaults following death of Scott Akester

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