A man who hit a drinker over the head with a bag containing an electric bike charger, leaving him with a fractured skull, has walked free from court.

Warren Young became embroiled in a row with a man on crutches outside a pub before violence erupted despite the efforts of door staff and bystanders.

CCTV footage captured the attack which left the victim with a large gash to his head and requiring hospital treatment.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 33-year-old defendant acted ‘instinctively’ when the argument boiled over into violence outside the Blue Post pub in Stockton town centre.

Chris Baker, prosecuting, said another male stuck the victim to the back of the head when a member of door staff tried to pull the pair apart and it was while the man was standing against the pub’s wall that the defendant returned to the scene.

He said: “Young swung the bag he was carrying towards the victim who was stood against the pub wall.

“The defendant made contact with his head and the bag was very heavy – it contained an electric bike charger.

“The victim suffered a head wound and a large pool of blood collects on the pavement.”

Mr Baker said the man attended hospital for treatment before discharging himself. However, he later returned when he was unsteady on his feet and a scan revealed he had suffered a fractured skull.

The court heard how the man then discharged himself from hospital again and was unable to give a victim impact statement.

Young, of Whessoe Road, Stockton, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm following the violence at around 11.30pm on August 14 last year.

Paul Newcombe, mitigating, urged to the judge to spare his client from immediate custody as he was the sole-carer of his young son.

He added: “It is a momentary action that he will regret for the rest of his life. There was no planning, it was an instinctive act.”

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Recorder Andrew Sutcliffe KC spared the father-of-one from immediate custody when he imposed a 16-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

“You accept that you acted impulsively, it was not a premeditated attack but it was, nonetheless, a serious example of grievous bodily harm,” he said.

“The injuries you caused through this action was extremely serious and the courts take a very serious view of it.”

Young was also ordered to attend 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.