Kickboxer spared jail for vicious assault on top athlete at Hartlepool beauty spot

A kickboxer who launched a vicious and sustained assault on a man he believed had kissed his girlfriend has narrowly avoided being jailed.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 3:20 pm

Dylan Smith, 20, punched the victim and kicked him to the head several times while he was on the ground in front of shocked witnesses, including young children, at Summerhill Country Park, in Hartlepool.

He left the man, who is a national athlete, with lasting injuries, Teesside Crown Court heard.

But a senior judge said he was prepared to take an ‘unusual step’ and spare him from immediate prison.

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The assault took place at Summerhill country park in Hartlepool last July.
The assault took place at Summerhill country park in Hartlepool last July.

The court heard how Smith arranged to meet the victim at Summerhill on July 19 last year after believing he had kissed Smith’s girlfriend.

Smith punched the victim several times to the face and bodyslammed him to the floor before following it up with kicks to his head.

It was witnessed by a mum and her nine-year-old child who was left hysterical.

Smith initially got in his car and drove away but returned just moments later with others and attacked the man in a similar way again.

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In a victim personal statement the man, who has competed at a high standard, described how he had been left unable to train for eight weeks.

He has been left scarring to his elbows which he is self-conscious of, and his nose remains blocked months later causing breathing and sleep problems.

He said: “I think it’s important for the law to consider the effects this has had on me and my family and potentially others in the future.

"It is important to consider the effects on others particularly if a trained martial arts fighter loses his temper and uses those learned skills to carry out a vicious sustained and repeated attack.”

Smith, of Roseberry Road, Hartlepool, who had no previous convictions, admitted actual bodily harm.

Michael Cahill, mitigating, said Smith is a hard worker who can be rehabilitated in the community, adding: “He’s ashamed of his actions.”

The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Paul Watson QC, said it was a “vicious assault” but after a lot of thought was prepared to suspend the 20-month prison sentence for 24 months.

Smith was also ordered to do 200 hours community work, obey a six-month curfew and was ordered to pay £2,000 compensation.

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