A MAN who attacked a “vulnerable” family friend he was supposed to be helping to support, was jailed for 25 months after failing to offer any sum of compensation

James Fieldson carried out the assault on the 54-year-old man at his home address, in Ferryhill, thrusting his knee forcibly into his chest and stomach, on September 28, 2018.

Durham Crown Court heard the victim, a frail alcohol dependent man, was asleep when Fieldson, an unofficial carer who stayed at the address, “on and off”, entered that day.

He was woken and a row developed in which he banged on a bench, in frustration.

Lorena Veale, prosecuting, said it caused his watch to fall off, angering Fieldson, who had given it to him.

He responded by attacking him with his raised knee, causing the vulnerable victim to fall to the floor, stating later that he had never previously felt pain like that.

Fieldson left and it was only the next day, when the victim’s son visited and saw the nature of his injuries, that he was taken to hospital.

Emergency surgery was performed for full force trauma intestinal injury and he remained in hospital for two months.

When arrested, Fieldson claimed he acted in self-defence, which a pathologist brought into question, as he stated the victim came close to death, but for the "prompt and urgent" medical treatment offered.

Fieldson, 33, of Foundry Street, Shildon, only admitted a charge of unlawful wounding on the day of his scheduled trial, in November.

Sentence was deferred to see what money he could raise to pay as compensation.

But the court heard that he had raised £800 until he lost his job and home, and so used the money to fit out the flat he then moved into, leaving nothing to pay the victim.

Judge Ray Singh heard from Fieldson’s grandfather, Michael, a greyhound trainer, who said he would offer his grandson work as a kennel hand and could keep money back from his wages.

Jailing him, however, Judge Singh told Fieldson he had left the man, he was supposed to be helping to support, with dramatic life-changing injuries.

“I deferred sentence after an assurance was given by you that you would be in a place to offer a level of compensation and you would refrain from offending.

“You have not committed any further offences, but you caused catastrophic injuries for which you ought to compensate the victim.

“But, you have wholly failed to make any amount available for compensation.”