Sunderland man punched and beaten by angry mob

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A MAN was punched to the ground after being chased across a Sunderland field by a group of up to 15 men.

Victim Darren Canavan was with a friend at the time of the attack, on July 13 this year, Sunderland magistrates heard.

The pair had gone to collect a motorbike belonging to the friend but it was on fire when they arrived at the field next to Ryhope Boxing Club at 5.30pm.

Prosecutor Louise Harrison said Mr Canavan heard someone shouting “let’s go get them” and the pair tried to run off.

The group, which included Liam Carruthers, 22, soon caught up with Mr Canavan while his friend managed to escape.

“The defendant had caught up with the victim and punched him on the chin with his left arm,” Ms Harrison said.

“He fell to the ground was kicked and punched from all angles.”

Mr Canavan was taken to hospital where he had X-rays taken.

“He suffered bruising to his legs, arms and lower back, soreness to his chin and lumps on his head,” Ms Harrison added. Carruthers, of Hewitt Avenue, Hollycarrside, was arrested.

He initially denied having punched Mr Canavan, but later admitted he had hit him once in the face.

Carruthers pleaded guilty to assault and possession of a Class B drug after he was found in possession of cannabis when he was searched.

Chris Wilson, mitigating, said: “Mr Carruthers’ recollection of this incident differs significantly from the account given by the complainant in his own statement.”

Mr Wilson said his client and Mr Canavan had an argument at a football game earlier that day.

“He struck the complainant once,” Mr Wilson said.

“That caused the complainant to fall to the ground.

“Mr Carruthers then left the area, running away.”

He added: “The burning of the motorcycle – Mr Carruthers has no knowledge of that whatsoever.”

Carruthers was told to take part in a thinking skills programme as part of a community order and was told to pay £85 costs, a £60 victim surcharge and £50 in compensation to Mr Canavan.