Man lay injured in street after pub row ambush

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A DRUNK attacker left his victim lying injured in the road after smacking him over the head with a block of wood.

Colin Cook had been drinking in the Golden Lion, in Houghton, when an argument broke out.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Cook was ordered to leave the pub, but went outside and waited in a nearby alleyway.

Minutes later, as his victim left the bar, CCTV showed the 26-year-old racing from the shadows and hitting the man over the head.

Shocked onlookers watched as Cook then fled the scene, leaving the man lying in a barely conscious state in the middle of the road.

Prosecutor Emma Dowling told the crown court: “The man suffered bruising to his face and, more seriously, a fracture to his ankle which has since had to be pinned.

“After he was arrested, the defendant made no comment to the police when he was asked about the assault.”

The court heard the victim had been left shocked and upset by the attack, and his injury had affected his ability to do his job.

Christopher Rose, defending, said: “Earlier, Mr Cook had been in the bar speaking to the men on friendly terms.

“However, it would appear others thought he was there to cause trouble.

“What happened next was wholly unnecessary, but it was a very brief assault, and there was no further attack while the victim was lying in the road.

“He understands the injury would have been very unpleasant, and he is sorry and deeply regrets what he has done.”

Cook, of Teesdale Avenue, Penshaw, had pleaded guilty to assault at a hearing last month.

Judge James Goss QC advised Cook to “give up drinking,” claiming the attack was “out of character” and clearly triggered by alcohol.

Judge Goss also said he had taken into account Cook’s early guilty plea as he sentenced him to a 12-month prison term, suspended for two years.

Cook was also ordered to pay £2,000 compensation to his victim.

Judge Goss added: “You would have to pay a lot more if the victim decided to sue you.”