‘Just one punch and my dad is dead’ - Family speaks out after Harrogate pub death
“You never think this type of thing will happen to you, but it has to us,” said Marie Anderson, 28, daughter of Paul Morrison who was killed by one punch at Wetherspoon’s beer garden in Harrogate on November 1 2014.
Today (July 2) Mr Morrison’s colleague Phillip Patrick Begley, 44 of and of Wellington Road, Bridlington was jailed for six and a half years at Leeds Crown Court after being found guilty of manslaughter as well as assault occasioning actual bodily harm for an attack on Mr Morrison’s friend of 15 years, Peter Bell.
Mrs Anderson said: “Nothing is going to make up for me not having my dad, he was a wonderful caring family man. He was such a big part of our family, there is a gap there and that will never change.”
She added that the family, who lived in Burton Leonard for 20 years were struggling to come to terms with how he the much loved grandfather died.
She said: “This wasn’t supposed to be the end of his life, his life was taken by someone else, it makes me feel like I have been robbed of something.”
Mr Morrison was 51 when he died on November 20, three weeks after the pub attack.
He had been out drinking with colleagues and friends, including Begley, and Leeds Court heard this week he was punched in revenge for ‘horseplay’ and ‘good humoured banter’ to which Begley had taken offence.
Mr Morrison’s tragic death shook the family’s community of friends and now Mrs Anderson wants to raise awareness of one punch killings.
She said: “One punch can kill, just one punch and my dad is dead, it isn’t something anyone thinks will happen but it does.”
The family are now hoping to fundraise to buy a memorial bench in Littlethorpe, where Mr Morrison lived before moving to Burton Leonard two decades ago.
A charity football match and family fun day will be held at Harrogate Railway Football Club on August 9. See www.facebook.com/PaulMorrisonMemorial for more details.