TWO men carried out a prolonged attack on an unconscious victim in his own home, causing serious long-term injuries.
Paul Michael Bishop and Christopher Henry Hilton were jailed for 30 and 32 months, respectively, today (Friday January 11) after admitting jointly carrying out the assault.
Durham Crown Court was told the pair left the bloodstained victim, a 34-year-old father-of-two, lying unconscious on the living room floor of his home in Second Street, Blackhall, County Durham, in the early hours of Tuesday, June 5.
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He was taken to hospital in a coma and spent 17 days in intensive care, suffering a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain, a fractured nose, plus other injuries.
The court was told that he will suffer long-term impairment as a result of the attack and was unable to co-operate with the preparation of a victim impact statement, which had to be provided by his mother, due to the extent of the injuries.
Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, said Bishop and Hilton, who had been drinking, came across their victim, who was involved in a domestic dispute, outside his home early that morning.
He was ushered into his house, and Bishop told him: “If you keep going on I’ll put you to sleep.”
Mr Dodds said Bishop followed him into the house and when the man said he was going to go to bed, he was struck by a blow to the face, dropping to the floor behind the settee.
Bishop was joined by Hilton and both were seen to repeatedly stamp on the prone victim, several times to the body, but at least once to the head.
Mr Dodds said they were arrested several days later, Hilton handing himself in at a police station.
They were initially charged with wounding with intent, which carries a much longer potential sentence.
But, following a report by a Home Office pathologist, the charge was dropped to one of unlawful wounding, as the skull fracture may have taken place when the victim fell after the initial single punch by Bishop.
Both Bishop, 28, who is from Blackhall, but now said to be of no fixed abode, and 21-year-old Hilton, of Brandlings Way, Peterlee, admitted unlawful wounding.
Stephen Constantine, for Bishop, and Graeme Cook, for Hilton, said neither intended the consequences of the attack when they became involved in the incident early that morning.
Jailing both, Judge Christopher Prince told them: “You caused horrific injuries to the victim which will continue to effect him gravely for the rest of his life.
“The serious aspect is that it was in his own home after you became involved in something which had nothing to do with you.
“You were both drunk and you repeatedly used your shod feet to inflict more blows on this man, when he was lying helpless on the floor.”