Sunderland man throttled fellow jobseeker he said was giving him ‘dirty looks’

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A MAN has been jailed after randomly attacking a jobseeker who he thought was staring at him.

Grant McCormack was taking part in a Learning Curve course for the unemployed on June 25 last year, when he mistakenly thought Luke Farina was giving him “dirty looks”.

The 28-year-old later bumped into Luke and his friend Samantha Surtees at a Metro station on July 8 last year and viciously attacked him.

McCormack, of Norway Avenue, Sunderland, punched Luke and grabbed him around the throat, causing him to pass out and fall down the steps at the Metro station.

As McCormack went to walk away, he turned back around and slapped Luke in the face.

The victim suffered a fracture to the left eye.

Kevin Wardlaw, prosecuting, said: “The crown say this is a sustained and repeated attack.

“The defendant accepted this was a unprovoked attack.

“He said the reason for the attack was because the complainant gave him dirty looks the other week.

“The complainant was staring into space and he didn’t realise he was staring at the defendant.”

Jamie Adams, defending, said: “It seems to be a grab, a punch and then a slap. The man has fallen to the ground at some stage as well.

“He is remorseful for what he did.

“He never intended this kind of harm to the man.

“He has tried to overcome the problems that he has got himself into. He is very aware of the problems he has caused other people from his drink and drug addiction, not least his immediate family.

“He is certainly an articulate man and he is not without intelligence. It’s just the decisions he has taken have not always been the right ones.”

McCormack, who was also convicted of battery in 2009, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Recorder Hill-Baker told McCormack: “I have given careful thought whether a custody sentence could be suspended and I regret that in this instance it cannot.”

Recorder Hill-Baker sentenced McCormack to 14 months in prison.