Newcastle thug kicked teen as he lay on ground
A TEENAGER was left with a broken jaw after an unprovoked attack in a town centre.
Thomas Owen was verbally abused as he walked near Newcastle Bus Station at about 2.30am on December 15 last year.
He was then punched in the head by Jason Simpson who walked away after Mr Owen fell to the ground.
But Christopher Birks then went up to Mr Owen and kicked him to his body several times before punching him as he lay on the ground defenceless.
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The violence was witnessed by police who went to arrest the two attackers. Simpson resisted and an officer was knocked to the floor. But he got up and soon took control and arrested Simpson, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard yesterday.
Prosecutor Nick Tatlow said Mr Owen, aged 19, was left with a fractured left jaw as well as bruising and swelling around his eye.
He spent the night in hospital and was unable to eat solid foods over the Christmas period. And he is now nervous about walking through the town centre at night.
Mr Tatlow said: "Birks accepts joint responsibility for the injuries caused to the complainant. But the Crown cannot say how Mr Owen came by the serious injuries he was later found to have."
Birks, aged 21, of Fairoak Road, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm. His plea was entered on a basis Mr Owen was not unconscious when he assaulted him and he did not kick him to his head, but his back.
Simpson, aged 25, of Victoria Avenue, Bignall End, pleaded guilty to common assault.
Jason Holt, mitigating for Birks, conceded his actions went far beyond that of Simpson.
"There was no justification or explanation for what he did," said Mr Holt.
He said Birks was in a 'very low place' last December after splitting with his partner and was drinking heavily. But he said Birks had turned his life around in the last six months.
"He shows regret and remorse," added Mr Holt.
Judge Paul Glenn sentenced Simpson to a 12-month community order with 160 hours unpaid work and a four-month electronically-monitored curfew from 10pm to 5am. And he jailed Birks for 16 months.
Judge Glenn said: "Mr Owen had been out drinking. He was tipsy and unlucky enough to encounter you two. When you saw him he was verbally abused. He made no aggressive move, his hands were in his pocket.
"Simpson blocked his path. You punched him to the face, knocking him to the floor, before walking away. It was an unprovoked assault.
"Police saw Birks kick in the area of his back two or three times and then punch him repeatedly, crouching over him to do so. He was motionless and defenceless."
Judge Glenn told Simpson: "This entire incident arose because you were drunk and you lost your temper because you had argued with a girl. I am satisfied your punch would have caused an injury."
The judge told Birks: "You were party to an attack which resulted in significant injuries.
"It was quite a sustained assault. You put the boot in repeatedly on a man who was grounded."