Women praised by police for helping catch one-punch attacker

David Izzard was jailed for 16 months for a one-punch attack which left his victim with brain injuries.
David Izzard was jailed for 16 months for a one-punch attack which left his victim with brain injuries.
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Police have praised two women who helped them catch a man responsible for a serious assault – after he propositioned them on a night out.

David Izzard, 23, was sentenced to 16 months in jail last week after he admitted a serious assault which left a 31-year-old with life-changing injuries.

The pair had got into an argument outside a takeaway on Marlborough Place in Newcastle city centre when Izzard suddenly punched his unprepared victim.

He fled and left the 31-year-old unconscious on the ground. The man suffered a fractured skull, and had to be rushed to hospital by paramedics.

The man, from the Newcastle area, has been left with life-changing injuries as a result of the assault – but it was only because of two young women that his attacker was brought to justice.

Northumbria Police launched an investigation and released CCTV images on social media in a bid to identify the suspect.

The friends, who do not want to be identified, recognised Izzard’s face and remembered that he had been on a night out in the city and had chatted to them outside a bar.

They contacted officers and told how Izzard had told them he was from near London and inviting them back to his hotel room.

The women declined his request but recognised him instantly when they saw Northumbria Police's CCTV appeal on Facebook - so they called the detectives working on the case.

Police were then able to view CCTV at the hotel in question and start to piece together Izzard's movement in the hours after the assault.

He was tracked down to his home in Hornchurch, Essex, at which stage police were able to bring charges against him for a serious assault.

Last week he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court, where he was handed a 16-month custodial sentence after admitting the charges against him.

After the case, Detective Constable Darren Stevens, of Central Area Command CID, said police may not have caught him if it wasn’t for the two women who came forward.

He said: "This case just shows the impact that one punch can have on two people's lives.

"One man will spend more than a year behind bars, whilst his victim spent nearly a week in a coma.

"Thankfully the victim survived, but he has lasting injuries that he will have to live with for the rest of his life, and the emotional scars are something that will stay with him for years to come.

"It may have been a very different result though if it wasn't for the two women who saw our CCTV appeal on Facebook and contacted us with vital pieces of information that helped us locate the offender.

"Their evidence led us to the hotel where he was staying and from there we were able identify Izzard as the person responsible for the assault.

"Many people would not have taken those extra steps and made the phone call to police, so we really want to commend the two women who got in touch with us.

"It is a testament to the importance of the media and social media in supporting our investigations and shows the role our local communities can have in getting justice for the victims of crime."

One of the women said they were just glad that their actions helped bring Izzard to justice.

She said: "We had been on a work night out and me and my friend had gone outside for a cigarette when this lad approached us and started chatting to us.

"It stuck in our minds because he had an Essex accent and had been a bit cocky and was asking us to come out clubbing with him, but we were on our way home.

"He said that if we changed our minds we should go back to his hotel for an after-party, but our night was coming to an end.

"It was a few days later that I was scrolling through Facebook and recognised his face. I chatted to my friend and we were sure it was him, so we contacted the police.

"We are just glad that the victim is making a recovery, and it does make us feel good that our evidence has helped locate somebody who may never have been caught if it was not for us.

"People may think twice about calling the police, but I guess this case shows that a little bit of information might be exactly what the police are looking for. We were just happy to help."