Drinking and violence facts
A BORDON woman, whose son was tragically killed in a bar brawl, is bravely facing the New Year determined her warning message about binge drinking and violence should reach a wider audience.
Ann Bartlett adopted the Greater Manchester Police ‘One Punch Can Kill’ slogan for the campaign, launched after her son Kyle died in May 2009, just three months after his 21st birthday.
For Mrs Bartlett (52), this time of year is hard, but she is determined to take her campaign on the road in 2013.
The mother of four said: “Christmas was tough, as my family were doing their own thing quite a lot of the time, so I was on my own. But the hardest is New Year’s Eve, that’s when it comes home that Kyle has been gone another year.
“I have taken my presentation on excessive drinking and violence to Havant and Portsmouth Colleges and a school in Bournemouth, but this year I hope to take it nationwide, visiting schools, military bases and unversities.
“I have also spoken with other parents of children who died as result of drunken fights and we have launched a petition calling for sentences to match the gravity of ‘one punch manslaughter’, which can be as low as three years.”
The Kyle Bartlett Memorial Fund also plans to donate £5,000 towards a new giants chair in Queen Elizabeth Country Park, due to open for use by the end of next month.
At the time of his death in 2009, Kyle was a Royal Navy marine engineer aboard HMS Liverpool, and on a night out became involved in a drunken brawl in a bar in Portsmouth’s Guildhall Walk, after watching a televised football match in another bar nearby.
He was left so badly injured his family had to take the agonising decision to turn off his life support machine.
It was likely a single punch caused the fatal injury to the former Mill Chase School pupil, a coroner said.
A group of Royal Marines were later cleared of all charges relating to the fight.
Mrs Bartlett’s campaign is supported by Safer Portsmouth and Portsmouth City Council, and aims to educate young people about what one short spurt of violence can do.
She said: “Too much drink can turn a night out into a tragic disaster. People need to realise that just one punch can land them in so much trouble.”
Ann is still struggling to come to terms with the death of her son, but says she has vowed to carry on in his memory.
For more information visit www.kbmf.co.uk
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Wednesday 11 December 2013
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