Man bitten and trampled in Sunderland shopping centre attack

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A MAN was bitten and stamped on in a sickening shopping centre attack in front of horrified families and children.

The shocking assault on Ross Hutchinson inside the Bridges Shopping Centre, in Sunderland, last August reduced one woman passer-by to tears – but was brought to an end by another brave female.

At Newcastle Crown Court CCTV footage of the violence showed Mr Hutchinson being punched, kicked, bitten and stamped on by Robert Tullick and George Mitchell as he was on the ground.

Prosecutor Emma Dowling told the court: “There is a flurry of blows and stamps from both men.”

The court heard the shopping centre was closed at the time of the attack but was still being used as a thoroughfare.

Miss Dowling said: “A blonde lady becomes involved, clearly concerned for Mr Hutchinson and her intervention breaks up the assault. One female is upset and is seen crying.

“There were children in the shopping centre. They clearly saw this attack and were shocked.”

The video footage shows Mr Hutchinson throw the first blow after the men, who were all strangers, started arguing as they passed each other.

He was left bitten and bruised.

Tullick, 19, of New Street, South Hylton, and Mitchell, 22, of Claxheugh Road, South Hylton, both pleaded guilty to assault.

Mr Recorder Charles Ekins sentenced Tullick, who has previous convictions for violence and was on a suspended sentence at the time, to nine months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with supervision and 120 hours’ unpaid work.

Mitchell was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with supervision and 120 hours unpaid work.

The judge said their behaviour that day was “disgraceful” and told the pair: “I am satisfied when you first viewed the CCTV footage the remorse you showed was genuine remorse and both of you were horrified by what it depicted.”

The court heard Tullick accepted the violence was “sickening” after he saw the CCTV film but could not remember any of it.

Nicholas Lane, defending, said: “At the time he had been on the drink for a period of some three to four days.

“Bizarrely, this has been a positive in his life because it has brought home to him the need to change.”

Jamie Adams, also defending, said Mitchell suffered a nose injury from the initial punch thrown by Mr Hutchinson.

Mitchell has no previous convictions for violence.