A DAD was brutally beaten while he used his body as a shield to protect his toddler son from attackers who burst into his home.
Three men turned up at William Sinclair’s door in the early hours and forced their way in after being told the person they were looking for did not live there.
In the violence that followed, Mr Sinclair, 24, was beaten, bitten and suffered two stab wounds which left him in hospital on a chest drain.
Despite the desperate dad’s best efforts to protect his two-year-old son from the violent onslaught, the tot suffered abrasions and marks.
At Newcastle Crown Court, Harry Allen, 23, of Teesdale Avenue, Penshaw, Jordan Tutty, 21, of Alwin, Rickleton, and Daniel Rumney, 27, of Langdale Road, Penshaw, were all put behind bars for the parts they played in the trouble that night.
Allen and Tutty had admitted unlawful wounding and were jailed for two years each. Rumney pleaded guilty to affray and was jailed for a year.
Allen was given an additional eight months behind bars for an unrelated violent disorder he pleaded guilty to.
Nobody admitted responsibility for stabbing Mr Sinclair and nobody is accused of deliberately injuring the little boy.
Prosecutor Paul Rowland said: “The boy was injured during the course of events. The prosecution say it is an aggravating feature of the offence as a whole.
“It is correct to say the boy received some injuries because he became embroiled in the mele.
“It should be pointed out there is no suggestion of any deliberate injury to the child, he was just there in the middle of this incident.
“Mr Sinclair attempted to protect him. He said at the time he was arching over him.
“The boy’s mother managed to get hold of him and take him upstairs.”
The court heard the family had been asleep in their home at Shiney Row when the three attackers came to the door in the early hours of June 28.
When Mr Sinclair told them they had the wrong house, he was punched in the face by Allen and ended up on his back on the kitchen floor.
Mr Sinclair managed to get to his living room while under constant attack, and it was then his little boy came in.
When Mr Sinclair’s horrified partner realised what was going on, she managed to get her little boy to safety and get help.
Mr Rowland added: “As a consequence of the attack, Mr Sinclair suffered lacerations to his chest, his arm, his ear and his right thumb. During the course of the altercation, he had been stabbed on at least two occasions.
“The prosecution cannot say who caused those injuries and it is not clear at what point they occurred.”
Judge Jeremy Freedman said the attack must have caused “terror and upset” for everyone in the house that night.
The judge said: “Their two-year-old son came downstairs.
“He witnessed some of what was going on and, indeed, he himself suffered some minor injuries.
“I accept no defendant intended to cause injury to the two-year-old but the reality is, because of what went on in that house, he did become caught up in it.”
The family have now moved out of their home as a result of what happened there.
Bob Spragg, defending, said Allen, who bit Mr Sinclair’s ear, had suffered a series of personal tragedies in the run-up to the attack and had turned to drink and drugs to cope.
Alec Burns, defending, said Tutty did not know anyone would be bitten or stabbed that night and had been “just going along” with the events.
Glen Gatland, defending, said Rumney took no part in the actual violence but accepts his presence would have caused fear.