Man had ‘mad and psychotic’ look before launching Sunderland pub attack

The Wheatsheaf
The Wheatsheaf

A man who carried out a vicious pub attack had a ‘mad and psychotic’ look on his face before assaulting his victim.

Edward Cockburn, 35, was drinking with his wife in The Wheatsheaf Hotel in Monkwearmouth, when they came across a couple they had previously fallen out with, Sunderland magistrates heard.

After being ejected from the bar by staff due to their drunkenness, the court heard Cockburn returned and assaulted the victim.

Prosecutor Laura Lax said: “The two men had a disagreement between them some time ago.

“The injured party could see he and his wife were intoxicated.

“After a while the defendant’s wife approached the complainant’s wife and started an argument.”

Cockburn was told to back off by staff and the victim believed the situation had resolved itself, the court heard.

“One hour later, Mr Cockburn and his wife were ejected from the bar because of their drunkenness. The injured party went through the lobby area of the pub for a cigarette, when he saw Mr Cockburn running towards the door of the pub,” Miss Lax added.

“He described him having a mad and psychotic look on his face and forced open the door.

“He raised his right fist and he punched him repeatedly in the head. The complainant’s wife tried to intervene, but he punched him in the head again.”

Miss Lax said the victim suffered swelling and bruising to his head, face and hand.

He said in a victim statement: “The Wheatsheaf is my local pub and I’ve never had anything like this happen before.”

Cockburn, of Brandling Street, Sunderland, admitted assault.

Chris Wilson, defending, said: “There are always two sides to every story.

“Fourteen days prior to this incident the complainant had made an assertion that Mr Cockburn had been speaking to another lady, endeavouring for her to embark on a relationship.

“This was completely untrue and on that evening he and his wife had gone to the Wheatsheaf pub to enjoy a night out.

“There were words exchanged by all parties and Mr Cockburn and his wife left the pub.

“On the way home he said ‘I’m going back to apologise, I want to draw a line under this’.

“He returned to the Wheatsheaf and started to apologise to the complainant.

“At this point the complainant’s wife said some words that caused him to take issue and he punched the complainant.

“He stayed around until police arrived and today enters an immediate plea of guilty.

“Words were said and he over-reacted. He is ashamed and he apologises before you today.

“There was no significant injury cause. It was a short fracas.”

Cockburn was fined £83 and was told to pay £50 compensation to his victim, a £30 surcharge and £85 costs.