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Attacker who left man with a catastrophic brain injury is jailed

Mr Lawless attacked Derek Broughout on Robert Street in Carlisle, leaving him with 'devastating' brain injury. Credit: Google Maps

A man has been jailed for a drunken one-punch attack which left his victim with a catastrophic brain injury.

Carlisle city crown court heard how 21-year-old Robert Lawless caught Derek Broughton off-guard with a powerful and unexpected strike to the face as they chatted on Robert Street, off Crown Street, just before 5am on June 8.

CCTV captured the shocking attack on Mr Broughton, aged 55, who fell backwards and struck his head.

A passer-by found Broughton in a pool of blood. He suffered a life-threatening bleed on the brain, and had to be transferred from the Cumberland Infirmary for specialist treatment in Newcastle.

A section of his skull was removed during the a surgical procedure to relieve swelling on the brain.

Mr Lawless, of Oaklands Drive, Carlisle, admitted grievous bodily harm, and was said to have expressed "genuine apology and remorse". He was jailed for 32 months.

"The violence you did to him was truly life-changing," said Judge James Adkin. "The impact on Derek and his family has been enormous. Their world has been torn apart by your cowardly, thuggish behaviour."