The one-punch attackers convicted in North East courts
Punching somebody once can have catastrophic consequences. Victims can be killed or left with devastating injuries after being subjected to a one-punch attack. The action can destroy the lives of not only those who are injured but their families as well.
Judges are continuously sending out warnings about the dangers of punching another person. In recent years, some defendants have been locked up for the crime while others have been spared jail. Read more: Heaton thug left neighbour with fractured skull and brain bleed by hitting him with piece of wood
Below we look at some of those who have been convicted of a one-punch attack Callum CrosbieCallum Crosbie, from Newcastle, has been jailed following the killing (Image: Greater Manchester Police)
The cocaine fuelled thug randomly punched and killed a father on a night out in Manchester city centre. The 23-year-old, from Newcastle, was locked up for seven years after pleading guilty to manslaughter.
Crosbie, of Colebridge Close, Blakelaw, punched Kevin Wood outside the Printworks on Dantzic Street last year. The 60-year-old victim had visited the complex in the centre of Manchester to celebrate his wife Debbie's birthday. Manchester Crown Court heard how they wanted to enter the Printworks for a birthday meal just after 8pm on Saturday, November 20, 2021 and came across a disorder outside the entrance.
Emergency services were called to the commotion after Kevin suffered one fatal blow by Crosbie. At the time of the unprovoked attack, Mr Wood had been trying to speak to the security. The court heard how Crosbie and his friends had been thrown out of O'Neills bar by security staff for refusing to move from a table.
They quickly became violent towards staff who had formed a line across the entrance of Printworks to prevent them re-entering. Others involved including Kevin Doherty and Alan Foster, both from Newcastle, were also involved in the disorder and later tracked down in their home city. The pair admitted affray and were sentenced to four months behind bars.
It was at this time that Crosbie can be seen kicking and hitting security staff before randomly punching Kevin to the left side of his face, causing him to fall to the floor. Security staff caught him as he fell and emergency services attempted to revive him, but sadly he was pronounced dead at the scene just after 9pm. Kevin, who had recently recovered from prostate cancer not long before the incident occurred, had worked most of the day on the fatal night to fix a leak on his and Debbie's house.
After finishing late, he'd suggested changing plans and going to Middleton instead that evening, before they decided to stick with their plans in Manchester. Kevin's wife of 38 years Debbie said: "We'll never get over it - our lives will never be the same. It's absolutely crazy that one punch can do so much damage to a person and a family.
In June this year, Crosbie was jailed for seven years following a thorough investigation by GMP's Major Incident Team (MIT) who meticulously examined CCTV and took statements from a large number of witnesses. Manchester Evening News reported how the court heard it was likely a case of mistaken identity, and that Crosbie had actually meant to hit a bouncer. Defence barristers claimed that security staff had been 'heavy handed' which had 'enflamed' the situation.
Jonathan Turner, defending, said his behaviour was 'out of character'. He said: "He was a plasterer, he did little but work. He didn't go out every weekend causing a nuisance of himself."
Brandon Reay The 23-year-old thug left a man unconscious with a sucker punch after a confrontation in McDonald's. Brandon Reay had spoken to the victim earlier in the night in Newcastle and they both ended up in the Grainger Street branch of the takeaway at 4.45am.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how their interaction was friendly until the victim turned to speak to a woman and Reay formed the view he had been told to "f*** off", which the other man denied. Neil Pallister, prosecuting, told the court: "He said the defendant became very aggressive and was trying to show off. He removed his shirt and started shouting 'Come outside' and tried to get him outside to fight.
"The complainant said he tried to avoid a confrontation and apologised if he had offended him and said he would go outside to talk. He went outside and the next thing he recalls is being on the ground with a police officer over him. "He said his head hurt and his chin was bleeding.
He thinks he lost consciousness. In his statement he says 'This has made me feel powerless and frightened'." Police viewed CCTV from McDonald's, which showed Reay stepping forward and punching the victim once in the face, knocking him out.
When he was arrested at the scene, he admitted responsibility. The victim was not seriously injured. Reay, of Wear Court, South Shields, South Tyneside, who has a previous conviction for drunk and disorderly, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Nick Cartmell, defending, said: "It was a single punch, the seriousness is what might have happened. He is working for Port of Tyne as a fork lift truck driver." Recorder Jonathan Sandiford QC told him: "Whatever went before it, he was not expecting you to strike him in the way you did and was taken completely by surprise.
It's the potential, as unfortunately sometimes happens, for a person caught unawares in this way to smash their head on the pavement and you could have been facing a manslaughter charge." Reay was sentenced to a community order with 100 hours unpaid work and must pay GBP500 compensation, GBP500 costs and must do a thinking skills programme. Robert CrichtonRobert Crichton, who has been given a suspended sentence for grievous bodily harm without intent (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
The head bouncer broke a football fan's cheek in a one-punch attack.
Crichton had been working at the Dog and Parrot, in Newcastle, on the afternoon and evening of England's European Championship match against Scotland on June 18 last year. One supporter had been out with friends at the nearby fan zone to watch the game but had become separated from his friends. Newcastle Magistrates' Court heard how the male thought his pals were at the Dog and Parrot so tried to enter the bar through a door on an alley way.
Shocking CCTV footage then shows Crichton suddenly emerge from the door and strike the victim to the head, leaving him lying on the ground. The court in Newcastle heard the victim initially went home and tried to relieve the pain to his face with Ibruprofen. However, a few days later, he was forced to attend hospital, where he had to undergo surgery to a fracture to his cheek bone.
In a victim impact statement, the man said: "I was in a lot of pain - it even affected my ability to eat. "Psychologically, I would say I'm wary when I go out now and also take more notice of people so they cannot harm me." Crichton, of Axell Drive, in Blyth, Northumberland, pleaded guilty to one count of causing grievous bodily harm without intent.
Mark Styles, defending, said someone had spat towards Crichton shortly before the attack, which prompted him to lash out. He said: "He made full admissions and gave police a full account. He's a primary carer for his partner and has two young children.
"He gave up his employment, where he was exceptionally well thought of, and found new employment with Go North East as a bus driver. "He immediately apologised through the police. His thoughts at the time were it had been a long shift and the atmosphere was heightened because of the football."
In February this year, Crichton was handed a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to pay the victim GBP500 in compensation. Gary MoffettGary Moffett was found guilty of GBH (Image: Northumbria Police)
The former soldier left a dad with a fractured skull and a permanent loss of his sense of smell.
Gary Crawford had been asked to leave a Newcastle city centre bar due to his state of inebriation after attending a wedding, when he ended up face to face with doorman Moffett. CCTV captures the moment the 48-year-old punched Mr Crawford, in what he claimed was a pre-emptive strike, fearing he would be assaulted. Dad-of-three Mr Crawford, from Dudley, North Tyneside, fell backwards and struck his head on the pavement and he was left in intensive care for 19 days and had to be put in an induced coma.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how the attack happened outside Popworld, in Newcastle, on September 21 2018. More than three years later, Mr Crawford had made a good recovery but remained without any sense of smell. In a victim impact statement Mr Crawford's wife, Lindsay, detailed the extent of the injuries and the terror the family faced as he underwent treatment in hospital.
She said: "To think that someone in authority felt it acceptable to throw such a damaging punch knowing it could cause irreparable damage leaves me sick to my stomach and I don't know how the man who did this can sleep at night." Moffett, of Lanercost Park, Cramlington, Northumberland, who was also employed by a local council at the time, was found guilty of inflicting GBH by a jury. The court heard how he had no previous convictions but a caution for common assault from 2005,
Peter Schofield, defending, said: "He accepts responsibility for what happened even though it's a source of great disappointment to him that this should have ended up the way it did. He expresses a full and frank apology to Mr Crawford for what took place. He has paid a high penalty for his own actions."
In November last year, Moffett was sentenced to 12 months suspended for 18 months with rehabilitation. Judge Christopher Prince said it is not in dispute that Mr Crawford wanted to go back into the bar and that it was Moffett's job to prevent him doing so. He told him: "You could have used other methods to restrain him such as pushing him.
Had you done so it maybe he would have fell over in any event but the jury found you should not have punched him." Jack DoddsJack Dodds, who has been given a suspended sentence for GBH (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
The 19-year-old broke a man's eye socket in a one-punch attack. Dodds had been celebrating New Year's Eve with his girlfriend at her mother's house in Wallsend when a fracas broke out with the neighbours over a complaint about noise.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that the defendant and the victim were initially bystanders to an altercation taking part between the women of the households. But Dodds, who had started to walk away, suddenly ran back and punched the victim after wrongly deeming that he was threatening his partner. Neil Pallister, prosecuting, said a dispute arose over noise between his partner and her mum and their neighbour and her partner, Mr Hepple.
But, while both men were initially bystanders, Dodds punched the victim after wrongly thinking he was threatening his girlfriend. The victim was knocked unconscious and suffered a broken eye socket as a result of the attack and was taken to hospital. Mr Pallister said: "It was an impulsive and spontaneous assault but it could be more than that as the defendant deliberately ran towards the complainant and punched him."
Dodds, of Dene Crescent, in Wallsend, North Tyneside, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm without intent. The court in Newcastle heard how Dodds had no previous convictions, had a good job and was remorseful. Nick Peacock, defending, added: "He feels ashamed that he's caused another human some pain.
This man usually lives a normal, blameless life." In August 2021, Recorder Anthony Dunne OBE gave him an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. Dodds was also ordered to do 140 hours of unpaid work and to pay the victim GBP1,200 compensation.
He said: "There was no rational reason for you to fear the victim poised a threat to your girlfriend or her mother. You struck him. You struck him with a single blow but forceful enough to knock him out and cause a fracture to his eye socket.
"That is, in itself, a very serious injury. You're fortunate, however, that it was not more serious. Blows like that can cause permanent damage and can kill people.
You were fortunate in this case that the victim was not more badly injured." Niall Snell The 25-year-old dad left his pal with serious injuries by punching him after drunken "lad banter" turned sour.
Snell was out with his pal and a group of friends in a Newcastle pub when he flew into a rage at jokes being aimed at his mum. He threw a drink over the victim and the pair ended up in a stand-off before the former lashed out with his left fist. Newcastle Crown Court heard how he struck the victim to the side of his face, causing serious injuries, including multiple fractures to his face and eye socket.
He was left needing surgery for a metal plate to be inserted into his eye socket and still suffers from nerve damage. The court heard that Snell and his long-running pal were out drinking with a group of friends in Yates, in Newcastle city centre, on November 24, 2019. Witnesses described the men engaging in "drunken lads' banter" with them making jokes and each others' expense.
Barry Robson, prosecuting, said some of the comments were aimed at the Snell's mother and he asked them to stop. He said: "Further references were made by [the victim] about the defendant's mother and the defendant threw a drink over him, saying "Don't call my mother a s**g". The victim was angry and went up to the defendant saying "What was that for?"."
A court in Newcastle heard the pair then ended up in a stand-off before Snell lashed out with his fist and punched the victim in the face. He immediately felt intense pain and was bleeding from the eye and nose. Snell left the scene while paramedics were called and the victim was taken to hospital.
In a statement, the victim said: "The assault and aftermath had a massive impact on my mental health, which has led to issues with my family." University-educated Snell, of Fowler Gardens, in Dunston, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm without intent. The court heard that Snell had no past convictions, was hard-working and lived with his pregnant partner in a stable relationship.
Brian Hegarty, defending, added: "He never intended to cause anything like the serious injuries that he has done. The defendant is devastated he's inflicted such injuries as have been set out." Mr Hegarty said Snell was extremely apologetic and was unlikely to appear before a criminal court again.
During is sentencing hearing in August last year, Judge Christopher Prince handed him an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered him to do 150 hours of unpaid work. He told him: "People, particularly young people, need to realise that one punch can result in death or serious injury. This is an example of how just one punch can lead to serious injury.
"The message needs to go out to people, do not throw even one punch because, those that do end up in prison and those that are on the receiving end die or suffer really serious injury, as what happened in this case." Michael HeldMichael Held's actions were described as 'vile' and 'animal-like' by one of his victims (Image: Northumbria Police)
The 23-year-old thug attacked three soldiers trying to break up a fight in Newcastle city centre. Newcastle Crown Court heard how Held was out celebrating a friend's birthday when he got involved in a fight with three others on Pudding Chare at around 2am on July 26, 2020.
Three members of the British Army were passing the scene when a woman pleaded with them to intervene to help break up the melee. Michael Collins, prosecuting, told the court how two of the men involved in the fight went over and began calling the woman a "s***". Held then punched one of the soldiers in the back of the neck in an unprovoked attack which knocked him to the floor.
Held moved on to his next victim, punching him in the face with "considerable force" that he hit his head on the ground and was knocked unconscious. He then helped his friend pin up the third soldier against the wall before throwing multiple blows to his head and face in a sustained attack. Police arrived and Held and his friend attempted to escape officers.
The former Newcastle College pupil was caught and arrested while his associate successfully fled the scene. The court in Newcastle heard how the unresponsive soldier woke up in the ambulance on the way to hospital with no recollection of incident. He sustained a fracture to his right eye, a cut lip, bruising and also had his front teeth knocked out which required dental treatment with permanent damage being caused.
The third victim, who suffered a head injury and a cut above his eyebrow which required stitches, described Held's action as "vile and animal like". In a victim personal statement read out in court, he said: "I fully believe my friend could have died as a result of this." Held, of Burdale Avenue, Slatyford, Newcastle, admitted GBH, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault by beating.
Rachel Hedworth, defending, said Held was "extremely remorseful" and that his actions were "uncharacteristic". She said: "He is utterly horrified about the manner in which he behaved that day." The court heard how a number of his family members were suffering with health problems at the time of the offence.
The court was also told how his partner was 11 weeks pregnant with his first child and he had been offered a supervisor role in his job Recorder Goldberg sentenced Held to 24 months in prison suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to pay a total of GBP1,000 in compensation, attend 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement and a thinking skills programme.
During his sentencing hearing in June 2021, he told him: "This was a frankly horrifying unprovoked attack on three strangers in the centre of Newcastle at 2am. "What makes it worse is that they were acting as Good Samaritans trying to intervene in a fight that you and two others were having with another man at that time." Andrew FenwickAndrew Fenwick (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
A 25-year-old dad punched the mother of his two children in the face after a night out.
South Tyneside Magistrates' Court heard how he had called the victim names during their nine-year on-off relationship. It had led her to report his aggression to police - but he had never physically attacked her. But that changed when he punched her on the eye in an assault witnessed by a passer-by in Felling late on August 1, 2020.
The court in South Shields heard how Fenwick then cuddled his victim but was himself set upon by two strangers in a bizarre brief encounter. Prosecutor Rehana Haque said: "She had contacted police before but that was for verbal abuse. She had gone out for some drinks at 5.20pm with friends in Felling.
She was having a nice time. "At about 9pm he came out to her. When he came out, he was drunk and was trying to embarrass her.
Her friends left at around 10pm and they tried to get back to The Blue Bell pub but couldn't. "He started a fight with a male in the street, but then they go to Asda where he started to push her around. They then got back to a car park near the Felling flats where he accused her of cheating on him."
Mrs Haque added: "A witness heard a male and a female shouting. He said that he could see the male punch the female in the face. He could see that she was hurt and was covered in blood.
She appeared very upset and distressed." Fenwick, of Savoury Road, Wallsend, North Tyneside, pleaded guilty to assault by beating. Ian Cassidy, defending, said: "The offence is and was accepted at the earliest opportunity.
He says that he can't recall what went on, but there was an independent witness who saw one punch. That's the basis of his plea. There was one contact and that was the punch.
There was no pushing around. "It was a long-term relationship. This was the first time that he has laid hands on her.
We accept that there was a cut to her eye. He says there is no reconciliation, but they have two children together." In April last year, Magistrates told Fenwick alcohol and the domestic context of the attack were aggravating factors.
They handed him an 18-month community order with 30 rehabilitation days.
He was also ordered to pay a GBP120 fine, GBP95 victim surcharge and GBP85 court costs.