Street attack on immigrant

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A MAN who broke an Iranian immigrant’s cheekbone in a “random, unprovoked one-punch attack” incriminated himself in an exchange of mobile telephone messages, a court heard.

Shortly after Stuart William Hansen, 28, assaulted his 37-year-old victim in Chester-le-street in the early hours of September 10 last year, he received a message from a friend saying: “One punch. Knockout.”

Hansen replied to his friend, complaining that he had hurt his hand during the incident, and went on to say: “All I heard was his face snapping.”

Hansen was given a 12- month community order with probation and supervision and ordered to pay his victim £750 compensation after pleading guilty at Durham Crown Court to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Passing sentence, Recorder Ben Nolan QC said: “Your victim was someone who first attracted the attention of one of your passengers in your car and ultimately you got out of your car and went over and punched him once – and very hard at that.”

In mitigation, it was said Hansen, of East Avenue, South Shields, had no issue paying compensation. He will also complete 150 hours of unpaid work.