‘I can never return to the North East’ – terrified mum goes into hiding after attack by Sunderland hardman

FEARED: Alan Smart.
FEARED: Alan Smart.
Have your say

A TERRIFIED mum has gone into hiding after a single punch from a feared hardman left her hospitalised for 10 days.

Alan Smart ruptured his victim’s spleen with the powerful blow and in another attack kicked her in the forehead with such force, that blood from the injury trickled down behind her eyes in a later attack.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday the 36-year-old former security firm boss was jailed for four years, and warned he must keep away from the victim forever.

Judge John Milford, QC, said the effect on the victim has been “catastrophic”.

In a harrowing statement which was read out in court, the woman said her life has been changed forever because of Smart’s violence, and she now lives away from her family and friends, in a different part of the country under a new name.

She said: “Nothing is now the same.

“I have lost my friends, my job, my identity.

“The price of this is I can never return to the North East and visit my family. This will affect my whole life, especially at Christmas.

“The thought of him ever looking for me fills me with dread, as does having to relocate my kids again.

“We have taken steps to change our identities.

“I have grave concerns for my family when he is released from prison.

“The day he is released from custody is the day I will start to look over my shoulder for the rest of my life.”

The judge said there was a physical imbalance between Smart, who he described as “an extremely powerfully-built man” and his victim.

Judge Milford warned Smart he must have no further contact with the woman, either directly or indirectly, under the terms of an indefinite restraining order.

He warned Smart: “You can expect a very long sentence if you go anywhere near that young woman.”

The court heard the victim was punched in the stomach with such power her spleen was ruptured and she was in hospital for 10 days.

In a second attack she was dragged to the ground and kicked in the forehead.

Smart, of Shrewsbury Crescent, Sunderland, admitted causing grievous bodily harm and assault.

Jane Foley, defending, said both attacks involved single blows and the victim made a recovery from her injuries.

Smart had written a “letter of explanation” to the judge for the hearing.

He was cleared of rape charges by a jury after a trial.

Judge Milford told him: “With your reputation in the community in Sunderland, no doubt being seen, potentially, as a rapist, has been an awful prospect for you. In the event you were acquitted.”

Smart has a previous conviction for fracturing a woman bouncer’s jaw during an attack in a bar.

He was previously accused, and cleared, of carrying out a street shooting and was a witness in a gangland trial after a friend of his was stabbed by rivals.