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Two men guilty of killing stranger with one punch

|News, Violent crime

Two men have been found guilty of killing a stranger with one punch in Preston.

Jake Parkinson, 22, was convicted of manslaughter following a trial at Preston Crown Court.

Jak Fairclough, 29, pleaded guilty to manslaughter at an earlier hearing.

The actions of Parkinson and Fairclough led to the death of 25-year-old Jack Jermy-Doyle.

The pair were out in Preston with a group on the evening of 11 August 2022.

Evidence was produced by the prosecution to show that throughout the night they had been involved in aggressive behaviour and had been seen in and out of bars making a nuisance of themselves and fighting.

Mr Jermy-Doyle was out with a friend the same night; after starting the night in Chorley, they headed into Preston city centre.

Around 2.30am on 12 August, Mr Jermy-Doyle and his friend were in the area of flag market. Mr Jermy-Doyle was ahead of his friend and as his friend sat on a bench, he walked on.

This is when he was approached by Parkinson and Fairclough. Parkinson delivered a blow to Mr Jermy-Doyle’s stomach. Almost immediately after that, Fairclough punched him in the face.

The blow to his face knocked Mr Jermy-Doyle to the ground where he banged his head and was knocked unconscious.

Fairclough and Parkinson did nothing to assist Mr Jermy-Doyle; they fled the scene, leaving Mr Jermy-Doyle’s friend to seek help and call the emergency services.

Despite the best efforts of the emergency services and staff at Royal Preston Hospital, Mr Jermy-Doyle had suffered a serious head injury and died on 14 August without regaining consciousness.

A postmortem confirmed that Mr Jermy-Doyle died from a blunt force injury to the back of his head, consistent with his head hitting the ground.

The police investigation uncovered a pattern of behaviour by Parkinson and Fairclough throughout the night and early hours of the morning that culminated in the death of Mr Jermy-Doyle.

Fairclough telephoned the police to hand himself in, after taking steps to destroy evidence. Both he and Parkinson were subsequently arrested.

Fairclough admitted that he had punched Mr Jermy-Doyle and that he had disposed of the clothing he was wearing that night in a neighbour’s bin, which had since been emptied.

Parkinson admitted in interview that he had given Mr Jermy-Doyle what he called a “little dig in his belly” but claimed that Mr Jermy-Doyle was the aggressor.

Fairclough pleaded guilty to manslaughter in August 2023. Parkinson pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and was convicted after trial on 15 March 2024.

The pair will be sentenced at a later date.

Katie Marsden, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: “This was a senseless act of violence by Parkinson and Fairclough that had fatal consequences for Mr Jermy-Doyle.

“Their actions in approaching him, assaulting him and leaving him for dead were despicable.

“Far from being remorseful, Mr Fairclough could be heard shortly after fleeing the scene shouting ‘who wants it’ and ‘who’s next’.

“This case is a further reminder that one punch can kill.

“My thoughts are very much with the family and friends of Mr Jermy-Doyle who bear his loss.”

Notes to editors

  • Jake Parkinson, date of birth 08/04/2001, is from Preston, Lancashire
  • Jak Fairclough, date of birth 24/07/1994, is from Preston Lancashire.

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