Sunderland man needed surgery on broken jaw after New Year’s Day attack

South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

A man had his jaw broken in two places in a vicious New Year’s Day assault in an apparent case of mistaken identity.

The victim was standing in the front garden of a house in Hendon, having a cigarette in the early hours, when he was punched in the face by Robert Olsen, 44.

He was left with two jaw fractures, which needed surgery, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Prosecutor Justin Gibson said the victim had been inside an address in St Leonard’s Street when he stepped outside for a cigarette at 1am on January 1, after hearing a commotion.

“He saw numerous unknown males and females shouting at each other in an aggressive manner.

“The injured party was outside in the front garden for five minutes when the defendant approached him and hit him once using his right fist.

“As a result he fell backwards with the force of that punch and Olsen walked off.” Olsen, of Saint Leonard Street, Hendon, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm without intent. The court heard he has nine previous convictions for 20 offences.

Chris Wilson, defending, said: “On this evening he had received a call that his son had been assaulted. He went outside and a number of people were fighting.

“There has been no premeditation. This is a gentleman who has hit someone once.”

Olsen was due to be sentenced at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court today.