Shocking CCTV footage shows the moment a man was punched to the ground in the street and left with ‘catastrophic’ injuries that ruined his life, a court heard.
Michael English, 30, was locked up for assaulting the 49-year-old man after asking him for a light outside Gi-Gi’s pizza takeaway in Middlesbrough.
The victim falls to the ground unconscious after a second punch, causing injuries including a brain bleed and put him in a coma, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Jailing him for 22 months today, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC told English he could have killed the victim with his impulsive, spontaneous and violent behaviour.
The footage shows English approaching the man and asking for a light outside the pizza shop at about 2.15am on July 9 last year.
The exchange then gets heated and the men are seen standing ‘almost nose to nose’ before English strikes the first blow, sending the older man reeling back.
He appears dazed then stands up straight again, at which point English lunges forward with another blow that knocks him to the ground unconscious.
The victim’s head hits the pavement and was unconscious for about 10 minutes, the court heard.
He was taken to James Cook University Hospital and put into an induced coma then underwent surgery to remove a blood clot on the brain and insert a titanium plate.
In a moving statement read out in court, the dad-of-two told of the life-changing physical and psychological effects of the late-night assault.
He said he was traumatised, frustrated and robbed of his independence and control over his life.
He told how his mental health was ’90 per cent down’ and he became emotionally volatile, crying constantly.
He added: ‘I don’t feel like the same person. It has changed me from a normal person into someone who can’t walk most of the time.
‘I constantly have to think first to make sure I consider my safety before I move anywhere. I have to check my path to make sure I’m safe. I don’t feel secure.
‘I go to bed not wanting to wake up sometimes.
‘All I know is I went out on a night with my girlfriend. We were happy. I had a new job. All of a sudden I woke up in hospital unable to move.
‘My whole left side feels like it’s wrapped in tight bandages. I have constant pins and needles.
‘He’s ruined my life. Everything I had has been taken from me. I’ve never hurt anyone, ever. I want the person who did this to me to receive the justice deserved.’
His sister said: ‘This shouldn’t have happened. This lad had no thought for his actions. Our lives have changed completely.’
English, from Middlesbrough, handed himself in to police after a media appeal and pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm – the third street assault on his record.
His barrister Richard Bennett said he expressed remorse and was ‘shocked and horrified’ at seeing the CCTV.
He said English reacted unreasonably, throwing the first punch when the victim put his forehead to his own.