Cockermouth man jailed for violent attack with metal bar that left man with brain bleed

Mark Middleton, 32, of Towers Lane, was convicted of a "dangerous" assault of another man in Cockermouth. Credit: Cumbria Police

A man has been jailed after he was seen launching a vicious attack with punches, kicks and a metal bar which left his victim with multiple injuries and a bleed on the brain.

Carlisle Crown Court heard of an initial phone call and then threatening Facebook messages exchanged between 32-year-old Mark Middleton and Connor Irving in the early hours of 22 May 2021.

It was accepted that Middleton wasn’t seeking an immediate confrontation. However, as Mr Irving and his partner left their property, Mr Irving was attacked by Middleton in Wrens Lane, Cockermouth.

There were numerous punches and kicks, including while Mr Irving was on the ground, said prosecutor Peter Wilson, who told the court witnesses reported seeing Middleton also hit the victim up to 10 times with a metal bar.

Mr Irving was taken to hospital having suffered a bleed on the brain, lacerations to his forehead and upper lip, swelling to the cheekbone and back of the head, and a broken nose. He was referred to a specialist as a result of ongoing nosebleeds.

In an impact statement, Mr Irving spoke of being left with scarring, and being unable to work or drive.

Middleton, of Towers Lane, Cockermouth, admitted causing grievous bodily harm.

He was sentenced by Judge Nicholas Barker, who heard detailed mitigation on the defendant’s behalf from his barrister and also considered character references.

After listening to all submissions, Judge Barker imposed an immediate 18-month prison sentence.

A detective from Cumbria Police said after the hearing: “Middleton is a dangerous offender who had shown a complete disregard for the safety of the victim, and the public, by using a weapon in such a violent manner.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...