Sunderland fan in 'continuous hell' after street attack left him with part of skull missing

Dalkin, 34, left the victim with a broken skull and bleeding on the brain which required surgery. Credit: NCJ Media

A man has been jailed after he left another person with part of his skull missing in an unprovoked street attack.

Craig Dalkin subjected the victim to an unprovoked attack after encountering him in the street, punching him twice and causing him to fall back and crack his head on the ground.

He then gave the Sunderland football fan a "dismissive" kick before spitting on the man, as he lay unconscious on the ground.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the effects on the victim - who is now cared for by his parents - have been "devastating".

Kevin Wardlaw, prosecuting, said: "The complainant knew the defendant to say hello to but was unaware of any issues between them or why he was assaulted.

"He recalls the defendant attending his place of work some weeks earlier and shouting his name. He didn't respond or leave his workplace on the advice of his manager and that's the only recollection he has."

The victim had been socialising with a friend in Houghton-le-Spring and after leaving a pub he heard his name being called. He has no recollection of what happened after that but CCTV captures the attack which took place on 30 July 2021.

Mr Wardlaw said: "CCTV shows the complainant walking with his hands in his pockets with the defendant on the pavement ahead of him. He walks towards him, points a finger towards him before punching him."

"A nearby door supervisor heard the thud as his head struck the ground and saw the defendant standing over him and he kicked the prone, unconscious complainant before spitting on him."

Dalkin, 34, of Toronto Road, Sunderland, then appeared to realise the seriousness of the situation, prompting the victim to "wake up" before fleeing the scene.

The victim suffered a broken skull and bleeding on the brain which required surgery and part of his skull had to be removed. He was put in an induced coma which left him in an incoherent state when he regain consciousness.

The attack has also left the victim unable to work or be left alone, straining his relationship with his young children who are confused by the changes in him.

In a victim impact statement, he said: "This has been a continuous hell which has ruined my life and put an immense strain on my family. I can no longer take my children anywhere."

Dalkin, who has 20 previous convictions, was originally charged with causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent but prosecutors accepted his guilty plea to causing GBH. He was jailed for 40 months and given an indefinite restraining order.

Judge Amanda Rippon told Dalkin: "You have inflicted life-changing, permanent damage on another human being.

"The only reason you are in trouble, or f***** up, in your words, is because you punched a man to the ground and have destroyed his life and you deserve every single thing that's coming your way."

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