Man jailed for pub attack after his son 'died in his arms' the day before

Kevin Blades
Kevin Blades

A man who headbutted and kicked a fellow drinker in an unprovoked attack has been jailed for four years.

Kevin Blades left his victim with a bleed on the brain which needed hospital treatment.

No motive has emerged for the attack, Teesside Crown Court heard, but Blades had been drinking while on medication, and may have been annoyed when the victim patted his pet dog.

The court was told Blades' 23-year-old son had 'died in his arms' the day before the attack, and having been arrested, Blades had to be released from police custody to attend the funeral the next day.

"The attack took place in the Dalton Park Inn in Murton at about 9pm," said Chris Baker, prosecuting.

"The victim is 54-years old, about 5ft 5ins tall, and weighs around 10 stone.

"Mr Blades is 50-years-old, 6ft 4ins or over, and at the time weighed about 20 stone.

"In the space of about a minute, he headbutted the victim six times, then after the victim had gone to the floor, kicked him forcefully in the head once.

"The incident was witnessed by a barmaid who says Blades was drunk.

"She recalls him saying something about not patting my dog to the victim.

"As the blows were being struck, the barmaid says the victim was not fighting back."

Blades, 50, of Dobson Terrace, Murton, admitted wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm on March 7.

He has previous convictions for arson, and for offences of dishonesty.

David Lamb, defending, said in mitigation: "Mr Blades suffers from a depressive illness which was exacerbated by the death of his son.

"He literally died in Mr Blades' arms.

"Mr Blades partly blames himself for the death.

"He has a another son who requires 24-hour care after he was the victim of an unpleasant street attack."

Mr Lamb said Blades could remember little of the incident.

"Those few days are something of a blur," Mr Lamb added.

"Mr Blades had foolishly taken drink on top of his medication, and he was genuinely shocked and remorseful when police told him what he had done."

The Recorder, Mr Richard Wright QC, jailed Blades for four years.

"This was a serious attack on a man you did not know," the recorder told Blades.

"No satisfactory motive has emerged, but what is clear is you headbutted your victim six times before putting the boot in.

"What is ironic is that you have a son who was the victim of an attack similar to the one you carried out.

"Having read various medical reports about you, I am satisfied you have a long history of depressive illness and at the time were suffering terrible grief.

"It all boiled over causing you to act in a way that was out of character."

Blades was made the subject of a lifelong order banning him from contacting his victim.