King-hit initiative welcome

Steve Radnoty.
Steve Radnoty.
The children of a Dunedin man killed by one punch are pleased his death is helping to prevent similar acts of violence.

Steve Radnoty (51) died after being punched in Dunedin's George St McDonald's restaurant in 2011.

His death prompted a police campaign aimed at highlighting the potential consequences of a single punch, and this week Dunedin officers and others involved have launched an expanded ''Just One Punch'' campaign to coincide with student Orientation.

Mr Radnoty's daughter Kristin Speak yesterday told the Otago Daily Times how pleased she was something good had come from the incident.

''Me and my siblings are really happy something is eventually happening with this. It's what my mum wanted and it's what Dad would have wanted,'' she said.

Miss Speak (24) said too many people had been killed or injured by single punches, and ''if we can stop one person from doing this, then it's worth it''.

Constable Shelley Phair, who spearheaded the campaign, reiterated that sentiment.

''If the campaign can have an impact on just one person, and cause one person to rethink their actions, then the time and money was all worth it,'' she said.

The Accident Compensation Corporation helped fund the campaign, which was supported by the Otago Polytechnic, the University of Otago and its students association, the Dunedin City Council, the Highlanders, TVNZ, Newsplash Studio, Otago Corrections and the Southern District Health Board.

Campaign advocates Brad Thorn and Monty Betham would help raise its profile among the target audience of young men aged between 16 and 18 years, Const Phair, of Dunedin, said.

''Brad Thorn's message is a really strong one - that if you find yourself in that sort of situation you're a bigger person for walking away,'' she said.

Actions promoted included using humour to defuse situations and getting friends to help.

Const Phair said Dunedin had several ''high-profile'' incidents where a person had been killed by a single punch.

The campaign aimed to highlight the alcohol link with assault, plus educate people to make better choices.

''Our goal is to strengthen young people's ability to make positive choices and decisions when dealing with these situations.

"If you choose the right path, you get home safe. If you choose the alternative, the consequences demonstrate how quickly a senseless act of violence can change your life,'' Const Phair said.

Campaign material was being distributed among Dunedin high schools and tertiary institutions.

ACC community injury prevention consultant Andy Redfearn said claim statistics showed alcohol had a major impact on violence, and it was often the consequences which were overlooked.


One-punch attacks

• Trainee teacher Tarun Asthana (25) died in November last year, three days after being punched outside McDonald's in central Auckland. Naval rating Grenville McFarland (27) was charged with his manslaughter and appears in court today.

• Karan Pant (25), was seriously injured this month by a single punch inside Cassette Nine nightclub in Auckland's Vulcan Lane. Napier man Mathew Paul Papa (22) has been charged with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

• Dunedin man Steve Radnoty (51) died in March 2011, a few hours after being punched inside McDonald's on George St in Dunedin. Christchurch man Matthew Bryce Larson (aged 23 at the time) pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to three years in jail. He was released on parole in July last year, aged 25.


One punch homicides

I've made a documentary - One Punch Homicide - to reduce punching incidents.  In 1998 the American Psychiatric Association said by the time Americans reached the age of 18 they had seen, on average, 200,000 acts of violence on screen.  Stats for NZ youth are probably similar. 
Aren't we cheating today's young by allowing them to watch so much violence without teaching them one punch can kill before they start legally drinking?

further to cowards punch

And the real success you have forgotten to include fromafar is that the NSW state Govt has introduced a mandatory minimum sentence of eight years imprisonment for a cowards punch under the influence of drink or drugs resulting in serious injury or death.

Coward Punch

In Australia this type of violence is, unfortunately, too frequent.

The family of one fatally injured victim passed the comment that it was a "coward punch". The entire spectrum of the media, to its credit, has picked up on this and ran with it. For the last few months it is only ever been refered to as a coward punch, which to me is an accurate description. Be nice to see the media in NZ do the same.

This message should begin on the rugby field

Our professional Rugby/League players set the standard. There are some players out there that never throw a punch despite the odds or aggravation, and there are other players who are always using their fists. It is this latter group of players that need to be held to account.

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