THE grieving mother of a young man who died after a pub fight has helped launch a campaign warning that one punch can kill.
Ann Bartlett is backing police and safety campaigners who will be sending out the stark message in a bid to curb alcohol-fuelled violence.
It comes after her son Kyle died in May 2009 after he had been involved in a fight in Portsmouth city centre.
His mother had to make the difficult decision to switch off his life support machine after tests showed Kyle was brain dead.
The One Punch Can Kill campaign aims to deter drinkers from being seriously injured or killed by thinking twice before getting into potentially fatal fights during a night out
Hampshire Police is working with the Safer Portsmouth Partnership and will target drinking hot spots such as Guildhall Walk, Gunwharf Quays, Albert Road and Palmerston Road.
Pubs, clubs and bars will carry posters with hard-hitting images to support the campaign.
And a powerful part of the campaign is the use of a mock crime scene, complete with the chalk outline of a ‘victim’ to bring the message home.
Ann, 51, said: ‘We’re trying to get the message out there about alcohol-related violence.
‘I lost Kyle two years ago to alcohol-related violence and it completely devastated my life and my family’s. The only thing that keeps us going is trying to make other people aware of the dangers so that no mother has to go through what I have.
‘I want to get the message through to young people in schools and talk about Kyle’s life and death.
‘They need to see that alcohol-related violence can ruin their life, they could end up dead or in prison.’
An educational programme to deter young people from alcohol-fuelled violence is also going to be delivered to schools and colleges.
And Trading Standards will be training bar staff how to combat the problem.
Chief Inspector Dave Humphries, of Hampshire Police, said: ‘I don’t think anyone ever leaves home on a Friday or Saturday night with the intention of killing someone.
‘But if you get into a fight after a few drinks and throw a punch, which ends up seriously wounding or killing someone else, could you live with yourself?
‘Not only would you be living with that on your conscience, you could also be facing murder or manslaughter charges and having to go through the ordeal of a court case.
‘We want everyone to be able to enjoy a safe night out in Portsmouth and have officers dedicated to patrolling the city’s bar areas on Friday and Saturday
‘You can help by making sure that if you’re out having a few drinks you look after yourself and look after your friends.
‘There’s no shame in walking away from trouble and persuading your mates to do so as well because throwing that punch is just not worth the risks.’
For more information on the campaign go to saferportsmouth.org.uk
To donate to the Kyle Bartlett Memorial Fund visit kbmf.co.uk