Teenager spared jail

A TEENAGER has been spared instant jail for a vicious street attack on a student.

Matthew Braithwaite-Evans, 19, head butted victim Nicholas Christodolou three times and kicked him while he lay helpless on the ground after challenging him to a fight.

Mr Christodolou suffered a fractured nose and cut to his head that left a permanent scar.

Braithwaite-Evans was with a group of lads drinking in Baden Street, Hartlepool, when Mr Christodolou was walking his dog at around 10pm.

Olivia Checa-Dover, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said: “As he approached Burn Valley Gardens this defendant crossed the road and walked towards the complainant.

“The defendant said ‘I’ve heard you want to fight me.’ The complainant replied ‘what are you talking about?’”

He punched Mr Christodolou to the head and the two began to trade punches as he tried to defend himself.

Miss Checa-Dover added: “The defendant grabbed the complainant’s shirt pulled him towards him and head butted him three times.

“He fell to the ground where he believes he lost consciousness.”

Forensic evidence showed Braithwaite-Evans had kicked Mr Christodolou while he was on the ground.

The victim later went to hospital where he received treatment for a two-inch cut to his forehead and was kept in overnight.

He also had bruising and swelling to his face, a cut inside his mouth and a bloody nose.

In a statement Mr Christodolou provided for the court he said the attack, on December 10, 2009, had left him nervous about going out in Hartlepool.

Robin Denny, mitigating, said the attack was not pre-meditated and happened when Braithwaite-Evans was abusing alcohol and drugs.

Mr Denny said: “He didn’t go and seek him out. He now has quite a lot of remorse about what happened and didn’t anticipate the damage that would be caused.”

Braithwaite-Evans, of Beaconsfield Square, Hartlepool, admitted unlawful wounding.

He was given three months prison, suspended for 12 months, with 12 months probation supervision.

Judge George Moorhouse said: “That’s a very serious offence, an offence which fully justifies a custodial sentence.”

He added: “You are not heavily convicted and you have shown remorse but it’s clear alcohol was your downfall.”