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Funeral wake punch man jailed

PUBLISHED: 10:58 23 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:07 03 July 2010

A MAN punched a mourner at a funeral causing a devastating head injury which almost cost him his life, a court heard.

Lee Mann, 26, inflicted a single punch on Gordon Simpson at the funeral wake in Great Yarmouth on February 8 last year.

A MAN punched a mourner at a funeral causing a devastating head injury which almost cost him his life, a court heard.

Lee Mann, 26, inflicted a single punch on Gordon Simpson at the funeral wake in Great Yarmouth on February 8 last year.

Norwich Crown Court heard that emotions were running high at the wake at the Admiral Seymour pub. Mann hit Mr Simpson outside the pub and he hit his head on the ground when he fell, causing the injury described by one witness as “something out of a horror film.”

As a result of his injury Mr Simpson almost died and had to undergo extensive brain surgery at Addenbrookes Hospital, in Cambridge, and the court heard the injury has had a devastating effect on him.

Mann of Middle Road West, Yarmouth, admitted causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Simpson.

Jailing him for nine months, Recorder Peter Guest told him that he accepted a great deal of alcohol had been drunk by both men and the atmosphere had been full of emotional tension but said: “You struck one blow but it was struck with considerable force. The result of the blow was devastating. At first they thought he would die but it was only the skill and care of the medical team that saved his life.”

He added: “Mr Simpson will never be the same again. He has been left in a devastated state.”

Stephen Spence, mitigating, said that Mann was deeply remorseful. “This was a one punch assault.”

He said he had acted on the “spur of the moment” and said he had felt wound-up by the victim.

Mr Spence said the assault took place in a “highly charged emotional atmosphere.”

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