Brain injuries and broken bones: Sunderland man brutally beaten for his wallet and watch

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A MAN was left with brain injuries and broken bones by attackers who stole his wallet and watch.

Keith Wharton was found slumped in a pool of blood in the street with a catalogue of horrific injuries after the ferocious beating.

The 49-year-old was taken to hospital with bleeding to the brain, a collapsed lung, fractured collar bone, eye socket, breast bone and ribs.

He had bled extensively at the scene of the attack at Wylam Wharf in Sunderland last August.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that despite his property being stolen and the severity of his injuries, Mr Wharton had managed to summon help himself.

Prosecutor Jolyon Perks told the court: “The one thing that was left with him was his mobile phone. He was severely injured at the time but was able to dial 999.”

Mr Perks said the evidence suggests Mr Wharton was attacked shortly after 9pm and it was after 11pm when the police tracked him down.

Mr Perks said: “He was lying on his side next to the railings of Wylam Wharf in Sunderland.

“He had serious injuries as a result of a sustained assault that had commenced some two hours earlier. He woke in hospital to find his wallet and watch and packet of tobacco had been taken from him.”

Stephen Blyth, 28, was yesterday found guilty by a jury of causing grievous bodily harm with intent. He had denied the charge.

Leslie Stainston, 30, and Philip Hope, 41, have already admitted the charge and are awaiting sentence.

Judge Robert Adams warned Blyth after the verdict he faces a “substantial custodial sentence”.

The court heard all three attackers, along with Mr Wharton, were living in a salvation army hostel at High Street East at the time of the attack.

Mr Perks added: “It is the prosecution case that Mr Wharton that evening was assaulted by all three defendants, acting together.”

The prosecutor said Mr Wharton may have been targeted because he had “items these defendants wanted”.

The court heard Mr Wharton had been drinking with the three men at the riverside.

He has little recollection of the attack itself.

All three attackers will be sentenced in April.