Jack Kirmond inquest: Army veteran killed during ‘unprovoked and senseless’ attack at his own engagement party
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Jack Kirmond fell and hit the back of his head on the road after he was sucker-punched in the jaw by Lee Robinson outside the Sharlston Rovers clubhouse near Wakefield in August 2022.
The 33-year-old was taken to Leeds General Infirmary for treatment but his family were told that he had suffered a “catastrophic brain injury” and would not survive. He was pronounced dead at 12.28pm on Monday, August 8.
During an inquest in Wakefield, Coroner Oliver Longstaff said the former soldier was unlawfully killed by a “brutal, unprovoked and senseless act of violence”.
Robinson was charged with murder. He pleaded not guilty but the case was dropped before he could stand trial, as he died while he was being held on remand at HMP Leeds. He was found dead on his 39th birthday, in December last year.
Detective Inspector Suzanne Hall, one of the senior officers who worked on the investigation, said Mr Kirmond was attacked shortly after he had broken up a dispute between two people at the party, but it is not clear why Robinson decided to get involved.
At the inquest, former Super League player Danny Kirmond described his little brother as “a fun and happy go lucky guy who everyone loved”.
“He was taken too soon. We all miss him so much,” he said.
“No words can do my brother’s personality justice. If you knew him, you loved him. I loved him so much – forever my little brother.”
Beverley Kirmond said she is “heartbroken” after her son was killed by “a random and unprovoked act of violence”, adding: “His loss is felt every single day.”
The inquest at Wakefield Coroner’s Court was told the self-employed groundworker was punched shortly after midnight on Sunday, August 7, at a party held to celebrate his engagement to his fiancee Casey Chalkley.
Witnesses said he did not see the punch coming because Robinson, who was the boyfriend of one of the guests, walked up behind him and threw it without warning.
They also said he was unconscious before he fell back and hit his head on the road.
Ms Chalkley described her fiancee as a “kind, caring and affectionate man” who “always put everyone else before himself”.
He was medically discharged from the British Army in 2014 – after seven years of service and multiple combat tours – and he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder PTSD, flashbacks and insomnia.
But Ms Chalkley said he was managing his mental health issues after receiving treatment and they were looking forward to getting married, having children and enjoying life in their new home.
“I can’t get used to my life without Jack,” she said. “Jack was innocent and had his life stolen in such a cruel way, and for what?”
Mr Kirmond was unconscious and unresponsive when he was taken to Leeds General Infirmary and doctors found that his skull was fractured and his brain was swollen and bleeding.
ICU consultant Dr Andrew Radcliffe said surgeons could not perform an operation to relieve pressure on the brain because there was “diffuse damage across multiple areas” and he was pronounced dead the following day.
Mrs Kirmond said she took “great comfort” in the fact that her son donated a number of organs including his heart, liver and kidneys, as it has “brought life and happiness to others”.