'My whole world stopped': Sister of one-punch victim Carl Fullard speaks of grief as family calls for tougher sentences

Carl Fullard, 44, who tragically died after a one punch attack
Carl Fullard, 44, who tragically died after a one punch attack -Credit:Ashleigh Sellars / SWNS

The grieving sister of a man who was killed by his girlfriend's jealous ex-partner in a single-punch attack in Hull has spoken out following the tragedy.

Carl Fullard lost his life after being assaulted by John Blanshard, 40, last year, just days after Mr Fullard started a relationship with Blanshard's former partner. The 44-year-old victim was knocked to the ground before bystanders attempted to save his life by performing CPR until medical professionals arrived and rushed him to Hull Royal Infirmary.

However, he sadly died the following day - September 9, 2023 - after suffering serious brain injuries. John Blanshard, 40, admitted manslaughter and received a sentence of six years and eight months in prison at Hull Crown Court in January. He denied murder and the prosecution accepted his guilty plea to the lesser offence.


Mr Fullard's sister, Ashleigh Sellars, 27, is now advocating for stricter penalties for such assaults.

Now residing in Queensland, Australia, Hull-native Ashleigh said: "Carl was the heart and soul of our family. His life was taken in a selfish, jealousy-fuelled act, and I still can't believe that my brother is gone. What that man did to my brother is unforgivable."

The siblings had last spoken over the phone a few months prior to discuss Carl's new job.

She added: "His relationship with this woman was so new, just a few days together from what we can work out, that none of the family knew about it.

"When my dad eventually told me that Carl was dead, I couldn't breathe - my whole world stopped."

Due to Ashleigh and her parents Julie Sellars, 64, and dad, Paul Sellars, 54, an emergency doctor, all residing in Australia during the time of the attack, her uncle had the heartbreaking task of identifying Carl's body.

Andrew Ness, 46, visited Hull Royal Infirmary to formally confirm Carl's identity.

Carl Fullard, 44, and sister Ashleigh Sellars
Carl Fullard, 44, and sister Ashleigh Sellars -Credit:Ashleigh Sellars / SWNS

Ashleigh said: "I felt helpless living in a different country, but I rang around my family immediately to find out more information. My heart shattered into a thousand pieces after hearing how Carl died.

"He was attacked from behind so he didn't even have the chance to try and defend himself. Thankfully the police were able to catch the guy who did it within 48 hours thanks to CCTV.''

Carl's family organised a funeral for him at Chanterlands Crematorium, on January 9, 2024 - a few days before Blanshard was due to be sentenced.

Ashleigh said: "Royal blue and white were Carl's favourite, so we made ribbons and handed them out at the service. A lot of people turned up to his funeral, and it was comforting to know that he had a lot of friends who cared about him.

"I was staring at his coffin in complete devastation that he'd no longer be at the end of the phone. It hit me that this was the end, and it was the hardest day of my life."

Ashleigh attended the sentencing with a group of close family and friends and was shocked to see Blanshard showed "no remorse".

She said: "I felt infuriated. He sat there comfortably, looking like he was daydreaming, and I just remember this boiling rage come over me.

"When the court showed the CCTV footage, you can see how hard he hit Carl because his whole body left the ground. My heart broke when they sentenced him to six years and eight months as this is no time at all for taking an innocent life."

John Blanshard, of Hull, was jailed for six years and eight months for manslaughter.
John Blanshard, of Hull, was jailed for six years and eight months for manslaughter. -Credit:Humberside Police

Ashleigh and her family have now joined community Facebook group One Punch Hull & East Yorkshire - a UK charity that strives to create awareness of the dangers of fighting - and they are petitioning for stronger sentencing to be enforced.

She said: "We reached out to One Punch Hull & East Yorkshire and they sent over some petitions that they were working on, and we've shared them religiously across our social channels. We've got 55,000 signatures so far but we need 100,000 for it to go to parliament.

"The petition aims to change the sentencing for one punch kills. I don't think people are aware of the consequences, and I pray that no one has to go through what we've been through.''

Anyone wishing to sign the petition can do so here.