Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

`Leniency' Angers Mum

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

`Leniency' Angers Mum

Article excerpt

Byline: By Hilary Clixby and Daniel Cochlin

The mother of a student who committed suicide hours after being punched in the face in and unprovoked attack, last night slammed what she saw as the lenient sentence given to his attacker.

Jonathan MacDaid, 20, of Braintree Avenue, Kenton, Newcastle, was punched twice in the face by Stephen Oliver as he was enjoying a quiet drink with friends at his local pub the Duke Of Wellington in Kenton Lane, Newcastle last July.

The next morning, Mr MacDaid was found hanging from a tree in the grounds of nearby St Nicholas Hospital, Gosforth.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, an 80-hour community punishment order was imposed on Oliver of Mallowburn Crescent, Kenton Bar, Newcastle, who was also given a two year community rehabilitation order after admitting assault. Judge Beatrice Bolton said there was no evidence to suggest a link between the attack and Mr MacDaid's death.

But last night his mother Mrs Gillian MacDaid, 51, said: "I am really pretty disgusted by this.

"The judge said there was no connection with the death but it certainly was a contributory factor.

"If my son was feeling low at the time and then somebody hits him completely unprovoked then it is too much of a coincidence to say it was not connected.

"I am not saying that the attack directly caused the death but it was probably the straw that broke the camel's back for Jonathan.

"I would have liked to have seen a prison sentence for this man."

"If Jonathan had provoked him then I could understand the sentence but the CCTV footage clearly shows what happened.

"I don't feel justice has been done at all."

An open verdict was recorded at Mr MacDaid's inquest after coroner David Mitford was told there was no evidence to link the attack and the suicide.

Passing sentence at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday , Judge Bolton said Mr MacDaid and his friends had been minding their own business when Oliver decided to "make trouble" and attack him. …

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