Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Attacker Is Spared Jail after Assault in Nightclub

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Attacker Is Spared Jail after Assault in Nightclub

Article excerpt

Byline: Sonia Sharma Reporter

A MAN has escaped a prison sentence for inflicting a serious head injury on a stag night reveller.

Sean Midwood was in the Destiny nightclub, in Newcastle's Cloth Market, when he punched 23-year-old David Laidlaw in the face in August last year.

The victim, who came from Scotland for a stag party, fell to the ground unconscious and suffered a bleed on the brain. He was taken to hospital for lifesaving surgery and only survived thanks to the efforts of medics.

Yesterday, Midwood, 22, of Cedar Drive, Brookfield Park, Jarrow, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister said: "Mr Laidlaw and his family and friends had been visiting Newcastle for a stag party.

"They went to the Destiny bar where witnesses described everyone in the room as drinking and having a good time. There was no argument.

"However, at about 3.30am, a witness saw the defendant approach the victim and punch him in the face using his right fist, knocking the victim out straight away. He fell to the floor unconscious.

"Mr Laidlaw was taken to hospital with a bleed on the brain. He had a blood clot at the left side of his brain and had to have surgery to remove the clot.

"After surgery, he remained in a critical but stable condition, and was making good progress. He had a 12-inch scar to the left side of his head and needed 48 staples.

"After leaving hospital, for three months he had a loss of hearing and continues to visit hospital for the defects in his ear.

"He is unable to drive and can't play football. He has stopped going out and socialising with friends as a direct result of the assault.

"He continues to suffer headaches caused by the physical and psychological damage to him."

In a police interview, Midwood accepted he was responsible for the assault. He said one of his friends came up to him in the club and told him he had been punched by a man. Midwood wrongly thought it was Mr Laidlaw and attacked him.

He accepted he was not threatened himself.

Mr Pallister added: "The prosecution case is that when the victim was assaulted, he was not acting aggressive at all. …

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