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Attacker is jailed over head stamp.

Byline: GARETH LIGHTFOOT gareth.lightfoot@eveninggazette.co.uk

A JEKYLL and Hyde character who wrecked an innocent man's life by stamping on his head as he lay unconscious has been jailed for six-and-a-half years.

Timothy Hagar, 24, was told he could have killed the defenceless man when he launched the drunken street attack for no reason.

First he kicked the victim's dog saying "I'll give you something to bark about", as he was asked to leave North Road in Loftus for making noise.

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, told Hagar: "No doubt you are utterly ashamed of what you've done. No doubt you wish you could have turned the clock back.

"But you stamped on a perfectly innocent, defenceless individual.

"A shod foot is just as dangerous as any other weapon.

"The impact of that has been to effectively ruin his life. That was all done in a moment, a second of gratuitous, mindless violence." Teesside Crown Court heard how the victim suffered "horrendous" injuries in the unprovoked attack. He had a double fracture to the jaw leading to prolonged hospital treatment, a metal plate put into his jaw, and ongoing pain and numbness.

He later said in a statement: "I will never forgive this man for what he did. My own wife thought I was dead. This could have been the case."

He said he was devastated and shocked. His own daughter didn't recognise him after the assault. He lost self-confidence and could not continue his well-paid off-shore rig job. He struggled to pay his mortgage and the family moved away. Prosecutor David Crook said the victim was struck - it was unclear by whom - and fell to the ground during the fracas on April 18 last year.

Hagar, himself once the victim of a serious assault, walked over to him and stamped "full force" on his head then kicked his chest.

Hagar, of Turner Street, Redcar, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with assault. He had previous convictions for disorder.

He wrote to the victim in a letter: "I'm sincerely sorry for what happened to you and completely and utterly ashamed of myself."

His barrister Paul Newcombe said he felt deep and genuine remorse and was "at a loss" to explain his actions.

He said the usually mild-mannered, gentle and quiet Hagar had a drink problem and was "something of a Jekyll and Hyde" when drunk.

The dad had also suffered depression and contemplated suicide. Detective Constable Matthew Waterfield said the sentence for the "horrific" incident reflected the danger posed by Hagar, and praised the victim's strength and courage.

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Feb 28, 2013
Words:438
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