A WORRIED sister turned detective to catch the stranger who broke her brother’s jaw in a random street attack.
Andrew Wilkinson, 23, needed surgery and a metal plate fitted to two fractures after a single blow by Daniel Richardson in Sunderland city centre last Christmas Eve.
The 22-year-old had “bragged” to horrified onlookers about knocking his victim out with one punch and boasted “If I had used my left hand I would have killed you” before leaving the scene.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the injured man’s sister Laura Wilkinson single-handedly tracked down the attacker after seeing his picture in a police appeal in the Sunderland Echo.
The court heard after seeing the CCTV still of the man wanted for leaving her sibling in hospital, Miss Wilkinson realised he had been pictured in the area of Passion nightclub.
The amateur sleuth then turned her attention to the nightclub’s Facebook site, where she trawled through the photographs taken of customers that night until she found one matching the wanted man.
Miss Wilkinson was able to then click on the clubber’s picture to find the name he was “tagged” under and give his details to the police, who arrested him.
Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court: “It was a good piece of detective work on her part.
“She saw the police press release in the Sunderland Echo with a photograph of the male police were wanting to speak to in relation to the assault on her brother.
“She realised the nearest nightclub was Passion so she went on the Facebook page for that night in question and identified a photograph that matched that on the press release.
“The photograph was tagged. She clicked on the name and it took her to his Facebook page.”
The court heard as well as having his jaw broken in two places, Mr Wilkinson had a broken tooth.
He was left unable to eat or drink properly over the festive period and told police his confidence had been knocked by what happened.
Richardson, of Tate Avenue, Kelloe, Durham, admitted causing grievous bodily harm.
Paul Caulfield, defending, said Richardson has not been in trouble before or since the attack, has stopped drinking and is well thought of at work.
Mr Caulfield said: “He is a decent, hard working lad. He’s done something he bitterly regrets, in drink.”
Judge Sean Morris sentenced Richardson to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months with 150 hours unpaid work and £1,500 compensation.
The judge told him: “You are not one of our normal customers, you have no record for violence, you are a hard working man and this is out of character.
“It was one punch and the consequences for the victim were deeply unpleasant.”