Attack victim needed surgery after being punched and stamped on in Sunderland city centre violence

An attacker who took a "flying jump" onto an unconscious stranger's head during a sickening outbreak of city centre violence has been put behind bars.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 2:32 pm
Morgan Coatesworth and Ellis Riddell.

The victim had been knocked out with a single punch thrown by Ellis Riddell and "face planted" the ground.

Newcastle Crown Court heard as Riddell "high fived" a pal in celebration, Morgan Coatesworth took a "flying jump, reminiscent of a long jump", onto the stricken man's head.

He suffered multiple fractures around his eye socket and nasal bones that required surgery and ongoing pain relief.

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Ellis Riddell

Judge Stephen Earl said it was unclear which of the two attacks, in September 2019, caused the serious injuries and that both may have contributed.

The judge warned the two attackers: "Either one of you could have caused this man's death."

The court heard the shocking violence was captured on CCTV, which was watched by the judge.

Judge Earl added: "A single punch, from behind, from Mr Riddell takes him out, head down, face down, sprawled on the ground, of no risk to anyone.

Morgan Coatesworth

"Then, having put him down, you (Riddell) back off, high-five your friend.

"Mr Coatesworth then takes the opportunity to take a running jump at his head, reminiscent of a long jump."

Judge Earl told the court: "Who caused what injury is in doubt, did injury get caused by him face-planting on the ground or were they caused by the stamp, or jump, pushing his face into the ground?

"Both had a causal element."

Coatesworth, 22, of Lanercost, Glebe, Washington, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent and has been jailed for 34 months.

Judge Earl said he accepted Coatesworth was genuinely remorseful and "really, really wishes he could take this moment back".

Riddell, 18, Felstead Square, Ford Estate, Sunderland, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a four month curfew from 7pm to 6am and 210 hours unpaid work.

Judge Earl said exactly what started the trouble was still unknown, but Coatesworth claimed he had also been assaulted.

Tony Davis, defending Coatesworth, said there had been "animosity" building up that night and drink was involved.

Mr Davis said Coatesworth had been "larking around in a boisterous fashion" before the violence and is "disgusted" by his own actions.

The court heard Coatesworth prepared a letter of a apology to his victim, which has been handed to his legal team.

Liam O'Brien, defending Riddell, said: "This exploded in a matter of seconds, it was over within three to four seconds in total."

Mr O'Brien said Riddell had never been in trouble before, is "not a lost cause" and can contribute to society.

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