Nottingham

Killer Jacob Dunne 'saved' by parents of victim

Jacob Dunne Image copyright ITV

A man who killed a cricket fan with a single punch in a city centre brawl has said meeting his victim's parents had "saved his life".

Jacob Dunne floored James Hodgkinson, 28, from Southampton, with a single punch in the fight in 2011.

Mr Hodgkinson, who was in Nottingham for a test match, died nine days later.

His mother Joan told ITV's Meeting My Enemy she had wanted to help her son's killer and accepted Dunne's actions had been a "stupid mistake".

Mr Hodgkinson, a trainee paramedic, was with his father, brother and three friends to watch a match between England and India at Trent Bridge.

Nottingham Crown Court heard there was an argument, which led to Mr Hodgkinson being hit by Dunne.

Now 23, he admitted manslaughter and was jailed for 30 months.

Dunne said: "There was a culture that fighting on a Friday night was normal [but] my whole life came crashing down in an instant."

He said he felt "bitter" and "hard done by" but after Mr Hodgkinson's parents made contact he started taking responsibility for what he had done.

Image caption James Hodgkinson, a trainee paramedic, was in Nottingham for a cricket test match

Dunne has kept in touch with Mr Hodgkinson's family and is on the verge of going to university to study criminology.

He said: "I've been trying to prove to them I am sorry through my actions.

"I came to the decision that education was the best way forward and upon hearing that, they were supportive.

"They've saved me and I can't thank them enough."

Joan Scourfield, James' mother, said contacting Dunne was about finding the truth.

She said: "I wanted to know why did he hit James? Was it unprovoked?

"I can't say 100% I have forgiven Jacob but I can understand there was no maliciousness in it, it was just a stupid mistake by him.

"I don't think we've saved Jacob's life, we've turned it around and that's what we wanted to do."

Both sides have been campaigning about the dangers of a single punch.

Meeting My Enemy is on ITV at 19:30 GMT.

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