Attacker fractured man's jaw in two places in Hartlepool within hours of jail release

A man is back behind bars after fracturing someone’s jaw the same day he came out of prison.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 6:40 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 6:40 pm

Paul Atkinson, 42, was released from prison at noon on October 22 last year after serving a sentence for burglary and theft.

Within a few hours he punched a man after a row developed when he visited his sister and a request by him for £60 was refused.

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said: “It was against that background the defendant at some point drew his right hand back and struck [the victim] to the left cheek with some force knocking him to the ground.”

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The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.
The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

An altercation broke out with all three throwing punches before Atkinson left.

"He returned briefly to ask her not to phone the police,” added Mr Dryden. “But she did.”

They arrived to find Atkinson’s sister and the man in a “distressed condition”.

The victim went to hospital where a CT scan revealed a fracture to both sides of his jaw. He also had a two-inch cut to his chin.

Mr Dryden added: “The case is aggravated by the fact that he was on licence at the time of the offence having only been released from prison hours before the incident.”

A child was also present during the assault.

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Atkinson initially claimed he acted in self defence before pleading guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm on the day he was due to stand trial.

Martin Scarborough, mitigating, said Atkinson believed he was owed money by the victim and he only threw one punch.

He said Atkinson was trying to get money to get to his release address in Blackhall.

He had visited his mother earlier that day and asked for £100 but she only had £15 which she gave him.

Mr Scarborough added: “He’s determined once he is released to try to get his house in order and move on with his life.

"He’s not somebody who is prone to violence.”

The court heard he had 34 previous convictions but mostly for dishonesty offences such as theft and burglary.

Judge Deborah Sherwin sentenced Atkinson, of Hepscott Avenue, Blackhall, to 15 months back in prison.

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