Spared prison after brutal attack

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THREE men have been spared prison after a night out ended in brutal violence.

Robert Dagg, Michael McCabe and Stephen Hutchinson attacked Andrew Smith and Michael Watson after an argument in the Glass Spider nightclub, in Sunderland city centre, on November 8 last year.

CCTV captured Dagg, 21, punching Mr Smith and wrestling him until he fell along with Hutchinson, before Dagg repeatedly kicked and stamped on his head as he lay helpless on the ground.

The argument began in the bar after Hutchinson, who is in the navy, pushed Mr Smith after a verbal dispute over a woman.

Hutchinson, 21, and Dagg were removed from the premises and Mr Smith and Mr Watson left. However, there was then an altercation outside, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Prosecuting, Joseph Perks said: “Mr Smith accepts that while outside the pub, he threw the first punch at another male in self defence. That male was Mr Hutchinson.”

Mr Smith and Mr Watson walked down Blandford Street but were followed by Hutchinson and Dagg.

McCabe, 21, joined them after receiving a phone call from Dagg.

The three men launched a sustained and brutal attack on Mr Smith and Mr Watson in Fawcett Street.

Judge John Evans told the defendants that they were lucky they weren’t facing more serious charges after viewing the CCTV footage.

McCabe also punched Mr Watson in the face, leaving him with a swollen and cut lip and bruising.

Mr Smith had a six-centimetre bruise on the back of his head, grazing to his cheek and a four-centimetre bruise on his forehead. He also complained of pain in his neck.

The court heard the dispute started after Hutchinson approached a woman in the club after seeing Mr Smith speak aggressively to her.

Defending Hutchinson, Jamie Adams said: “He went over as a matter of duty, as he puts it, to make sure a woman who had been approached rudely and aggressively by Mr Smith was OK.”

Mr Adams told the court that Hutchinson repeatedly tried to stop the attack and walk away, and was even pushed forcefully by his pal Dagg at one point during the attack – although he was said to be verbally encouraging the assault.

All three defendants pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Dagg, of Henley Road, Nookside, was given a 57-week prison sentence suspended for two years with a two-year supervision requirement.

Defending him, Robert Spragg, said that the defendant was “ashamed” and “appalled” at his actions. Dagg was made the subject of a electronic curfew order for two months.

McCabe, of Rockingham Road, was given a 36-week prison sentence suspended for two years with a two-year supervision requirement, and will also be the subject of a curfew.

Both must complete 150 hours’ unpaid work and pay £670 in court costs, and £250 compensation.

As Hutchinson, of Peel Street, is in the navy, he avoided a suspended prison sentence or unpaid work but he must pay a £1,500 fine, £670 court costs, £250 compensation and a £15 victim surcharge.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho