The mother of a young man who was killed during a night out is teaming up with Durham Constabulary to encourage revellers to drink responsibly this weekend.

The first pubs and bars are due to reopen after three months of lockdown on Saturday, July 4.

But Maxine Thompson-Curl is urging people to take it steady when they do decide to go back to the pub.

Her son, Kristian Thompson, died after being punched in the head during a night out in Consett, on his 19th birthday, in 2011.

Since then, Mrs Thompson-Curl has led a campaign to raise awareness about the devastating impact drink-fuelled violence can have, while supporting other families in similar situations.

She set up One Punch North East as a campaigning group in 2014, now a registered charity, and has spoken to thousands of schoolchildren across the region about what happened to Kristian.

Officers will be out in force this weekend across County Durham and Darlington to help keep people safe if they do decide to return to the pub. The force has also been working closely with its partners to ensure licensees are aware of their responsibilities and promote responsible drinking.

Chief Constable Jo Farrell said: “We are really pleased to see the pubs and bars reopening but we would urge people to act responsibly when the restrictions are lifted. Coronavirus remains a real risk to public health and we have seen some irresponsible behaviour nationally in terms of mass gatherings and antisocial behaviour. The vast majority of drinkers are responsible but we know some people will drink to excess or cause harm to others so we would encourage everyone in County Durham and Darlington to think twice about their actions and enjoy their weekend safely. The key advice is to know your limits and consider how you will get home safely.”