Pair face jail after being found guilty of stab and dog chain attack on Sunderland's Hylton Road

Two attackers are facing years behind bars after a man was repeatedly stabbed and beaten with a dog chain in the street.

Friday, 8th February 2019, 3:56 pm
Updated Saturday, 9th February 2019, 9:37 am
Mark Roberts

Christopher Reed was hospitalised after the assault by two strangers on Hylton Road in Sunderland in the early hours of August 25 last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the married dad picked out Mark Roberts, 31, and Kyle Dixon, 23, as being responsible for the violence he suffered.

Kyle Dixon

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But the men denied involvement in the attack and claimed "mistaken identity" during a trial by a jury.

Roberts, of Guildford Street, Sunderland, has now been convicted of wounding with intent and having an offensive weapon, namely a knife.

Dixon, of Warwick Street in the city, has been convicted of wounding with intent and having an offensive weapon, namely a metal dog chain.

The men have been remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.

Judge Robert Spragg said both men must be assessed to see whether they are "dangerous".

Prosecutor Mark Guiliani told the court Mr Reed had encountered the men while he and a pal, who wanted to buy cannabis, were out in the city.

Mr Guiliani showed jurors cctv footage from shop cameras which showed four men in the street and included the attack on Mr Reed.

Mr Guiliani added: "Roberts, armed with a knife, stabbed him four times. Dixon then attacked him with a dog chain in this joint enterprise attack.

"Bearing in mind, both defendants say this is not them."

Jurors heard the men, who were picked out by Mr Reed at a photographic identity parade, both claimed there had been a case of "mistaken identity".

Mr Guilliani said: "In this case, there is no dispute Christopher Reed suffered grievous bodily harm and that he was stabbed four times with a knife.

"The issue is identification. Have the two defendants been correctly identified as the two assailants?"

Mr Guiliiani said there is not dispute Mr Reed suffered "really serious harm" as a result of the attack on him.

He told jurors: "The only decision you need to make is can you be sure it was Mr Roberts and Mr Dixon. The crown say you can obviously be sure it is the same two men."

Christopher Sykes, defending Roberts, told the jury: "In one sentence, the case for Mr Roberts, as is stated in his interview, is mistaken identification. It wasn't him, its as simple as that."

Matthew Crowe, defending Dixon, told jurors: "The case for Mr Dixon is much the same. Despite the Crown's repeated insistence of being sure it is him on the footage, we say it is a case, you might think, of mistaken identification."

After the case, Sergeant Gaye Martin, of Northumbria Police, said: "This was a despicable and cowardly assault which caused a lot of distress to the victim and the community as a whole.

"Armed with weapons caused to inflict maximum damage, Dixon and Roberts set upon their victim and left him with serious injuries that could so easily have proven fatal.

"They then had the audacity to claim the victim had wrongly identified them as the perpetrators, and showed no sign or remorse or regret following the attack. As a result, there can be no doubt that Sunderland is a safer place with these two individuals off the streets.

"I hope today’s conviction sends out a message to other criminals that this type of behaviour is totally unacceptable and we will continue to look to bring offenders to justice."