Two Sunderland men have been jailed after brutally attacking a man on the Durham Road which left him with a broken nose and memory loss.
Infuriated over a drugs debt, Elliott Stables and Cameron McNay were part of a group of four who launched a pre-mediated attack against the victim, striking him on the head and leaving him unconscious and with serious injuries. A court heard the men fled the scene in a jeep before the victim regained consciousness and was taken to hospital.
The male victim suffered multiple cuts and bruises to his face and head, a broken nasal bone, soft tissue swelling on his cheeks and post-traumatic amnesia. He also had a swollen jaw but left the hospital before medics could perform an x-ray.
The next day, McNay proceeded to message the victim on social media, taunting him as a “grass” and threatening to break his legs if he continued with his complaint against them with the police, Newcastle Crown Court was told. However, McNay and Stables, who were known to the male and also identified from CCTV, were then arrested.
Stables, 29, of Finsbury Street, Southwick, and McNay, 23, of Ocean Road South, Grangetown, have now both been jailed for their parts in the attack. Stables was locked up for 64 months after pleading guilty to wounding with intent and theft of the victim’s iPhone, while McNay was jailed for 62 months after admitting wounding with intent and witness intimidation.
The court heard that the victim was walking with a female along Durham Road, in Sunderland, on July 7 last year when a vehicle pulled up and Stables, McNay and a third man got out. Paul Cross, prosecuting, said: “[The victim] felt a blow from behind and he was rendered unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he had head and facial injuries.”
Mr Cross said that the three men and the driver of the car fled the scene and the victim’s female companion had also left. The victim’s iPhone has also been taken.
The following day, after the complainant had attended hospital and made a statement to the police, McNay sent him a message via social media calling him a “grass” and threatening to break his legs if he continued with the complaint he’d made to the police, Mr Cross told the court.
In a statement, the victim said he’d been left struggling to sleep, adding: “Since this incident, I feel I have completely changed as a person and I no longer get enjoyment out of life. I’m on edge 24/7 and I find myself looking out the window in case someone is there. If I’m out and about and I see a jeep, I immediately start to panic and my heart starts racing.”
Jennifer Coxon, defending Stables, who has 16 offences on his record, said he struggled with drug misuse and mental health difficulties. She added: “He accepts he’s misused drugs, which has a knock-on effect on his mental health, which is a vicious circle. It’s a vicious circle he can’t seem to get out of.”
David Callen, for McNay, who has nine offences on his record, said he was usually a “positive, polite and respectful young man” but was drinking heavily at the time having been sacked from his job.
Jailing the pair, Recorder Mark Giuliani said the attack had involved a high degree of planning. He added: “I find this offence is aggravated in each of your cases by the fact this was enforcing a drugs debt and there were four of you acting jointly when you assaulted [the victim].”
Recorder Giuliani also told Stables that he found him dangerous and he must serve two thirds of his sentence.