Man needed plates in face after two assaults by same attacker

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A MAN needed plates and screws fitted to almost every bone in his face after he was assaulted twice by the same attacker in less than a fortnight.

Andrew Lowden, 22, left rival Lee Middleton with a bloody nose and black eye after punching him in the street in Washington, on August 31 last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard during a second run-in at Well Bank Road in the town on September 9, Mr Middleton was hit in the face again – and this time needed hospital treatment.

Prosecutor Diane Spence told the court: “He needed internal fixation of plates and screws to his lower jaw, upper jaw, right and left cheek bones and under his eye socket.

“His lower wisdom tooth was removed as it had been loosened.”

“Mr Middleton said he had numbness in his lower lip and that may be permanent.

She added: “He was hospitalised for three days.”

The court heard there was a history of rivalry between the two men after their families fell out about six years earlier.

Lowden admitted common assault in relation to the first incident and causing grievous bodily harm in relation to the second.

He also admitted dangerous driving after an incident last November.

Lowden claimed he lashed during the first run-in after Mr Middleton swung out at him, and he hit him the second time because the victim had been “shadow boxing” at him.

Mr Recorder Bryan Cox sentenced Lowden, of Hedworth Dene Gardens, Felling, to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 250 hours’ unpaid work and a 12-month driving ban.

The judge said: “In reaching the view I have about your case I have given you substantial credit for your pleas of guilty, and the other matters I have read about you in the pre-sentence report, such as your good work record.”

Barry Robson, defending, said Lowden is not regularly in trouble and has a good work ethic.

“This really is the perils of binge drinking,” he added.

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