A man’s head was split open with a metal bar when he was confronted by a violent burglar after being disturbed in his home.
Matthew Pearson was not the intended target of Darren Trueman and Scott Wilson’s anger when they broke into the Gleneagles pub in Sunderland in the early hours of January 27.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the pair had been looking for a man accused of making violent threats to Trueman’s family and broke into the pub believing he would be there.
When Mr Pearson, who lived above the bar, investigated a noise the intruders made, he was subjected to the sickening attack by Trueman.
The court heard he suffered a gaping head wound when he was hit with a metal bar and is still suffering the effects, and facing possible treatment, because of what happened to him.
Trueman, 42, of Partick Road, Sunderland, admitted burglary with intent and causing grievous bodily harm.
Not only was violence used, but extreme and unnecessary violence inflicted on a helpless man going about his lawful business.Recorder Duncan Smith
He was jailed for five years for the violence he used that night.
Wilson, 25, of Palmerston Road, Sunderland, admitted burglary with intent and breach of a suspended sentence for an attempted robbery.
He was jailed for a total of three years.
Mr Recorder Duncan Smith told Trueman: “In an unprovoked and highly unnecessary attack of cowardice you split his head open with a metal bar.
“Not only was violence used, but extreme and unnecessary violence inflicted on a helpless man going about his lawful business.”
Alec Burns, defending, said Trueman “took the law into his own hands” because of threats to his family.
Mr Burns said after Trueman’s arrest his family home came under attack and had the windows smashed while a child was inside.
His family have since been given a panic button for protection
Mr Burns said: “The threats were real.
“He wants to apologise for the assault on Mr Pearson. He had not intended that to happen and is sorry to have injured an innocent man.
“It was not someone who he intended to hurt at all.”
Vic Laffey, also defending, said Wilson has a history of mental health problems and was not directly involved in any of the background to the burglary.
Mr Laffey said: “The man they were looking for was not there.
“They anticipated he would be having a lock-in, would be drinking downstairs in the bar.
“He had no idea anyone was living in the pub.”
Wilson told police he had not realised anyone had been attacked by Trueman during the break-in.
The court heard as well as the violence, damage was caused inside the pub during the raid.