Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Man killed 'much-loved' market trader with a single punch

A man has been jailed for five years for killing a market trader with just one strike.

Paul Lyal-Venables, 35, caused Luke Pocock to fall and seriously injure his head after punching him once.

Police were called on July 2, 2022, to the Railway Social Club in Truro, Cornwall.

Luke, 54, was taken to hospital but died on July 28 last year – less than a month after the attack.

Roofer Lyal-Venables, of nearby St Agnes, eventually admitted causing Luke’s death after initially claiming he acted in self-defence.

Luke, who ran a market stall in Truro, was said to be ‘loved to bits’ by his family and friends.

Friends called him ‘a lover not a fighter’ and a ‘wonderful man’.


Lyal-Venables entered a guilty plea to manslaughter at court in March this year.

He was yesterday sentenced to five years in prison.

Detective inspector Rob Smith from Cornwall Police said: ‘This was a tragic incident which led to Luke Pocock sadly losing his life last year.

‘Lyal-Venables was initially arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent but was further arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after Luke passed away.

‘The evidence has shown that Luke was assaulted in what was an unnecessary and senseless attack.

‘This may have involved only a single punch, but the consequences have caused absolute devastation to the family and friends of all involved.

‘I hope this incident will serve as a warning to others of the risks inherent in using violence against others and the damage that can cause.

‘Luke has been described as a kind and caring man, with a great sense of humour and deeply loved within the local community.

‘I would like to pay tribute to Luke’s family for the composure and dignity they have shown throughout this process and thank them for the support they have given to the police.’

Many UK police forces have become involved in the ‘One Punch Can Kill’ campaign to raise awareness of the devastating impact a single strike can cause regardless of intent.

Several people a year die as a result of single punches, which can cause a victim to fall unconscious with relatively little force if they land on vulnerable parts of the head.

Last year, a new dad who was celebrating his first night out since the birth of his daughter was killed by a single punch after getting into a row in a pub.

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