Sunderland thug used key in street attack witnessed by schoolchildren

A thug used a key as a weapon during a daylight street attack that was witnessed by schoolchildren.

By Karon Kelly
Thursday, 31 January, 2019, 13:09
James Reed

James Reed had turned up at his ex-girlfriend's mum's home in Washington in September 2017 and refused to leave when he was asked.

Newcastle Crown Court heard in the trouble that followed the 20-year-old threw punches and used his key to attack the mum's partner.

At the time of the violence, children were making their way home from a nearby school.

Judge Amanda Rippon told him: "You took a key out of your pocket and and put it into your knuckle, so it protruded between your fingers so it became a serious weapon.

"You assaulted him with it, hitting him to the upper body and head, leaving him with marks on his chest, arms and back."

The court heard when Reed's ex's mum tried to intervene in the violence, she received a "couple of blows", which were aimed for her partner.

Judge Rippon added: "There were a lot of children around, children coming out of school at that time of day.

"A neighbour shouted at you, telling you to leave and called you a disgrace for behaving like that in front of children."

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The court heard in the days after the attack, Reed went back to the house again and called the victims "grasses"

Former Nissan worker Reed, of King James Court, Sunderland, admitted affray and witness intimidation.

The court heard Reed, who has a criminal record, spent more than three months on remand in relation to the offences, which was the first time he had been in custody.

Judge Rippon sentenced him to 14 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with programme requirements, a three month curfew and an lifelong restraining order to keep him away from the victims' house.

The judge told him: "This is a chance for you. If you don't take it, I will lock you up."

James Gelsthorpe, defending, said Reed has registered with recruitment agencies to find work and has a stable home.

Mr Gelsthorpe added: "He can comply with orders of the court and conduct himself in accordance with being a contributing and positive member of society."