Man declared brain dead after being punched wakes up just before his life support was about to be switched off

6 July 2023, 08:00

James Howard-Jones was punched after a night out with friends in Cheltenham
James Howard-Jones was punched after a night out with friends in Cheltenham. Picture: GoFundme

By Asher McShane

A man who was punched on a night out regained consciousness while plans were being made to switch off his life support, a court heard.

James Howard-Jones, 28, was left severely disabled after being attacked on a night out.

He was punched in the street on April 24 last year, falling back and hitting his head.

His attacker, Ben Davies, 24, of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent and was jailed for two years and four months.

Judge Martin Picton told Davies: “You’ve destroyed the life and hopes of Howard-Jones — a young man in the prime of life with everything to live for.

“Howard-Jones will never be released from what you have done to him.

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Ben Davies was jailed for the attack
Ben Davies was jailed for the attack. Picture: Gloucestershire Police

“The victim personal statement provided by James’s father is one of the saddest I have ever known.”

Neil Howard-Jones, James’s father, said doctors told him he was “brain dead and the kindest thing we could do was to let him die.

“Arrangements were being made for transplantation donation,” he said.

“We agreed that this should be delayed for a week so that family and friends could say their goodbyes to James.

“James went on to regain consciousness.”

James now needs round the clock care and a fund was set up by his brother while he was injured that has now raised over £10,000.

“I'm setting this GoFundme up, hoping that when James recovers, he will be able to take it easy for a month or two, stop working so hard and enjoy life without stressing about his next rent payment,” Mark Howard-Jones wrote.

The assault took place after Mr Howard-Jones and his friends had been to a bar to watch a boxing match.

Davies was arrested on May 8 last year.

The judge told the attacker: “What happened in this case should be a lesson for others about the terrible consequences that can result from the use of violence, which is sadly seen all too frequently when young people are out trying to enjoy themselves at night.”

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