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Man jailed for one-punch attack which had “catastrophic” impact on victim

Paul Gunn

A CLEATOR Moor man has become the latest person to be sentenced for vicious one-punch violence in Cumbria.

Paul Gunn, 35, was jailed today (TUES) for a shocking night-time street attack on Graeme Clarke in Whitehaven town centre on August 14.

As Gunn intervened in a confrontation which was nothing to do with him on Lowther Street, Mr Clarke moved away. Mr Clarke appeared to be on his phone and was “not aggressive at all” when Gunn approached and “punched him once with significant force to the face”.

Lowther Street in Whitehaven, the scene of Paul Gunn’s one-punch attack

Prosecutor Kim Whittlestone told Carlisle Crown Court Mr Clarke fell “like a dead weight straight to he floor”. He lost consciousness at the scene, was transported to hospital and underwent surgery. Part of his skull was removed to relieve pressure due to a bleed on the brain, and he remained in an induced coma for 48 hours.

He was released from hospital and had undergone further surgery in January but been left with “pain and disfiguration” and, said Miss Whittlestone: “The impact upon him has been significant.”

Gunn admitted causing grievous bodily harm. Impact statements read to today’s sentencing hearing outlined the profound effect of the attack on the victim and his family. Mr Clarke – had spoken of being “robbed of my social life”, and added: “I am not the person I was before.”

Gunn’s lawyer, Michael Davies, said of the defendant: “He is shocked and horrified at the injuries.” He added: “It was one punch and he instantly regretted it.”

Judge Peter Davies jailed Gunn, of Thornfield Close, Cleator Moor, for 32 months.

“The impact upon him was truly catastrophic,” Judge Davies said of Mr Clarke. “Sometimes one punch can cause somebody’s death, especially on the street where they are unprotected and land on concrete and stone.

“He lived an ordinary life and now his life has been changed, perhaps irrevocably.”

*During the past 13 months at Carlisle Crown Court, at least five other men have been sentenced for separate one-punch attacks – some of which left the victims with similarly appalling injuries. One of these also occurred in Whitehaven’s Lowther Street in July 2018 – while others were committed in a Workington nightclub, at a Carlisle house party, outside a property in Brampton, and in Kendal town centre.

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