Sunderland man who left victim with fractured skull after one-punch attack is spared jail

Daniel Morris left his victim unconscious.
Daniel Morris left his victim unconscious.
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A man who left a fellow drinker with a fractured skull after striking him to the head has been spared jail.

Daniel Morris rendered his victim unconscious during an altercation outside the man's home in Millfield, Sunderland.

The 26-year-old had been drinking prior to the attack at around 3.30am on August 1, 2015 with his victim, the victim's girlfriend and his co-defendant Adam Johnson.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the altercation occurred when Morris claimed the victim had been violent to his girlfriend - Johnson's sister.

Nick Adlington, prosecuting, told the court: "CCTV footage shows the co defendant Johnson using some sort of object to smash the windows of the victim's property.

"At the same time the defendant and the complainant are circling around in what was quite clearly an altercation."

The CCTV then appeared to show Johnson handing Morris the object he used to smash the window before the attack was launched.

Mr Adlington told the court how the victim was found to have a depressed fracture of the skull and had an operation to remove fragments of skull from the brain.

The court heard how Johnson had already been dealt with prior to Morris's case for criminal damage.

Morris, of Clacton Road, Hylton Castle, Sunderland, admitted section 20 wounding.

Paul Cross, defending, said: "It can be seen on the CCTV that his (the victim's) girlfriend is on the ground.

"It's the defendant's case that is because he assaulted her.

"This was an aggravated situation that is not of the defendant's making.

"He also speaks of being provoked badly by the victim. The defendant there felt he was in a position of defending himself.

"But it's accepted that the blow was beyond what could be agreed as self defence.

"He's not been in trouble of any kind since think which goes back to August 2015."

Judge Stephen Earl told Morris: "There can be no doubt that this single blow did cause a catastrophic injury as a result of the fact you had something in your hand that appears to have been used.

"I am persuaded that you are a different person to the one you were then. You are older, wiser and hopefully more mature."

Judge Earl sentenced Morris to two years in prison suspended for two years with programme requirements.

Judge Earl told him as he left the court: "You're a very lucky young man."

Johnson, 22, of Toward Road, Sunderland, was handed a 12 month conditional discharge with £85 coats and £15 victim surcharge when he was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court for criminal damage.