Family of Darwen dad killed by single punch backs campaign

Lancashire Telegraph: RELEASE: Terence Gaskin RELEASE: Terence Gaskin

IN August this year, teenage killer Terence Gaskin will be released from prison on licence.

It will be two years to the month since the boozed-up 18-year-old threw an unprovoked single punch at Darwen dad-of-four Kenneth Turnbull, aged 51.

And just over 18 months since Gaskin, formerly of Bright Street, Darwen, was jailed for manslaughter. Now he is set to regain his liberty.

But for kitchen fitter Mr Turnbull’s family and friends, that single blow in the early hours of August 11, 2008, has left them with ‘a life sentence’.

It left widow Anita, 41, their daughter Abbie, 14, and Ken’s sons Mark, 29, Andy, 26, and Oliver, 18, struggling to come to terms with their loss.

Anita said: “We’d been together for 17 years, but had been through a three-month trial separation and were on the verge of getting back together.

“We had been out for a meal and talked about moving into a bigger place.

“Ken had been out to a Northern Soul gig in Manchester, came back and went for a couple of beers and a curry with his mates.

"Then he walked home as he always liked to do, to clear his head.”

Tragically, his path crossed with drunken Gaskin on a footpath near the White Lion Pub.

When a routine police patrol came past, they found three people standing over Mr Turnbull, claiming he had collapsed.

Anita recalled: “Me and Abbie were at my house on Radford Street, Darwen.

“Ken had been living round the corner in Limes Avenue with his middle son Andy.

"When Andy woke us up knocking on the door I thought he’d just lost his key, but he said ‘it’s my dad, he’s dead’.”

Initially it was not treated as suspicious, but 24 hours later, Blackburn detectives were back on the phone to Anita, saying Gaskin had confessed to his mum, Wendy.

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CCTV later showed him throwing a single punch, which caused Mr Turnbull’s brain haemorrhage.

A tearful Anita said: “When the phone goes late at work or I get a text, I think ‘oh that’ll be Ken asking what’s for tea’.

“I’ve still got texts from that day on my phone, of me asking him if he got to the gig okay. I cannot delete them because it would be like erasing him.

“His clothes are still hung up as he left them that day. I think the day you move them is the day you admit it.

“The police gave me back the clothes he died in. They are hung up in my wardrobe and I sleep with his shorts and teeshirt under my pillow. I cannot move them.

“Abbie sleeps in his cardigan – it’s little sentimental things which at the back of my mind show we’ve not forgotten him.”

Anita, who has worked at Royal Blackburn Hospital for 26 years since she left school, would always pass the morgue on her normal route into the office.

Now she goes the long way round.

One of her duties used to be processing the files for deaths, but she can no longer bear to come across a similar case to Ken’s.

“I see it here at the hospital all the time. Every weekend A&E is full of drunks with their faces smashed in or glassed.”

The ongoing ordeal has left the family strained.

“I was trying to stay strong for all four kids, but also Ken’s mum, who had lost her husband the year before and was a mess.

“Abbie has had counselling at school, she gets angry, asking ‘why my dad?’. Oliver’s the same.

“Andy and Mark went to live in Australia after the court case, just to get away from it.

“The kids have got me, but when Oliver is playing football, he just wants his dad on the sideline.”

Anita spoke about her ongoing heartache in a bid to warn other families of the fallout of a single violent act through the Consequences campaign.

She said: “If the Consequences campaign can just make one kid think before they throw a punch and stop one family felling like this, it’s worth it.

“I feel so sorry for Adam Rogers’ family. I know the pain.

“People say ‘wrong place, wrong time’, but that’s rubbish. Adam was on a night out with friends.

"Ken was just walking home to his family – he was not in the wrong place.”

Anita is bracing herself for the ‘final insult’ when Gask-in is released.

“Sentencing for manslau-ghter is atrocious. All it needs now is for him to be let out on August 11, the day Ken died, and it will be complete.

“There’s no justice. We are the ones with the life sentence.”

Comments (8)

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4:56pm Wed 19 May 10

chrislancs says...

This drunken thug should not even be considered for release for at least 20 years. but as we know victims of crime count for nothing in this politicaly correct country.
I just hope this thug gets run over with a bus or something as heavy as long as he does not survive justice will have been served.
This drunken thug should not even be considered for release for at least 20 years. but as we know victims of crime count for nothing in this politicaly correct country. I just hope this thug gets run over with a bus or something as heavy as long as he does not survive justice will have been served. chrislancs

5:22pm Wed 19 May 10

ganja man says...

WE in this country do not have a justice system. What we do have is an INJUSTICE system which has denied this family their due rights to see this lowlife do at least 20 years in jail.
Jail meaning hard labour to benefit society and make him and others sweat and EARN their board and lodging.
What is happening to this country of ours when we see these criminals literally and very unfortunately for the victim's family, getting away with murder.
it is time for a revolution to take place in this country and get rid of these "old establishment" figures who have been really running this country for over 300 years.
They are quite safe on their vast estates and mansions within their vast iron gates.
On another note it might be that we raise the drinking age to 25 and restrict the selling of this lethal "drug".
Some would say it causes more harm in this country than "ganja".
Let others work that one out once you have the facts!!!
WE in this country do not have a justice system. What we do have is an INJUSTICE system which has denied this family their due rights to see this lowlife do at least 20 years in jail. Jail meaning hard labour to benefit society and make him and others sweat and EARN their board and lodging. What is happening to this country of ours when we see these criminals literally and very unfortunately for the victim's family, getting away with murder. it is time for a revolution to take place in this country and get rid of these "old establishment" figures who have been really running this country for over 300 years. They are quite safe on their vast estates and mansions within their vast iron gates. On another note it might be that we raise the drinking age to 25 and restrict the selling of this lethal "drug". Some would say it causes more harm in this country than "ganja". Let others work that one out once you have the facts!!! ganja man

5:40pm Wed 19 May 10

steven shepherd says...

all ways thinking of him hope time will be some what of ahealer for all of you idont think that b.....d should even think of coming back to darwen
all ways thinking of him hope time will be some what of ahealer for all of you idont think that b.....d should even think of coming back to darwen steven shepherd

6:16pm Wed 19 May 10

Lancs - pensioner says...

I hope the Judge/Magistrate who passed this sentence can sleep at night!!
I hope the Judge/Magistrate who passed this sentence can sleep at night!! Lancs - pensioner

7:36pm Wed 19 May 10

warren2007 says...

that scrote tried too strangle my daughter at secondary school what use is he too society also know kens son its ruined their life should be put down
that scrote tried too strangle my daughter at secondary school what use is he too society also know kens son its ruined their life should be put down warren2007

8:17pm Wed 19 May 10

time.team says...

PLEASE - Someone tell me WHY?
PLEASE - Someone tell me WHY? time.team

11:21pm Fri 21 May 10

Abbie T says...

two years for killing an innocent man.. yeah maybe he didnt intend to kill him but he intended to hurt him in some way... & everyone knows the consequences of hitting someone! everyone can't believe this guy killed him then is allowed to walk the streets in two years. lets just hope karmas a ****!
two years for killing an innocent man.. yeah maybe he didnt intend to kill him but he intended to hurt him in some way... & everyone knows the consequences of hitting someone! everyone can't believe this guy killed him then is allowed to walk the streets in two years. lets just hope karmas a ****! Abbie T

8:11am Sat 22 May 10

harry says...

he too has a life sentence
he too has a life sentence harry

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