Thorney Close man avoids jail after deliberately knocking someone over with his van

A Thorney Close man who deliberately knocked someone over with his van causing them a bleed on the brain has avoided prison.

Kiel Lewis, 35, believed the victim had been involved in a confrontation with his mother earlier in the day in November 2021 which led to the attack.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the complainant had been walking along a road in Sunderland with his son when they saw the vehicle approach at speed.

Rachel Glover, prosecuting, said: “He committed this assault on the 5th of November 2021.

“On the 5th of November of 2021, the victim was involved in an incident with a number of people including the mother of the defendant.

“Shortly before midnight, (the victim) and his son and two other men were walking along Tanfield Road in Sunderland.

“At this point (his son) saw the defendant driving his van at speed on the pavement and struck his father pushing him through a wall of a nearby garden.

“As a result of being struck by the defendant’s van, (the victim) was taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary where he was given general anaesthetic and found to have sustained complex facial fractures and a small bleed to the brain in addition to small bruises and swelling around his eye.

“He was sent to intensive care before being stepped down. He was detained in hospital until the 9th of November, returning for surgery to repair his facial injuries on the 11th of November.”

The victim said in a statement that the incident had ruined his life and he had been left bed-bound and sedated due to his medication.

Lewis, of Tadcaster Road, Thorney Close, was found guilty by a jury of grievous bodily harm but was cleared of the more serious charge wounding with intent.

Fiona Lamb, defending, told the court: “Whatever happened between (the victim) and his mum, this shouldn’t have happened and there’s nothing more that can be said about that.

“In my submission the defendant has acted out of character. He’s only been in trouble once before with the police and he has one previous conviction for drunk and disorderly from 2014.

“He is a family man. He’s been with his partner in excess of four years and they have two children together.”

Judge Stephen Earl sentenced Lewis to two years suspended for two years plus rehabilitation requirements.