Attacker brutally kicked victim in the head as he lay in South Shields street

Michael Barker
Michael Barker

An attacker kicked a man in the head after dragging him to the ground during an outburst of unprovoked violence.

Michael Barker's shocking attack on his victim at Hudson Street, South Shields, was captured on CCTV and showed the man being brutally kicked and then punched as he lay on the ground.

After watching the footage at Newcastle Crown Court, Judge Stephen Earl said Barker's actions that night were "appalling".

The court heard the victim was carried to an ambulance with "bruising, swelling and in considerable pain" after the attack but did not support the prosecution case against Barker.

The injured man told police he could not remember what happened to him and said he had had a lot to drink before his ordeal on September 27.

Barker, 24, of Wallington Grove, South Shields, admitted affray and was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with rehabilitation requirements, £400 compensation and costs.

Judge Earl told him: "Your actions on that night were appalling. You are very lucky I am not sending you custody immediately.

"You kicked him while he was down on the ground, in the head. You go away and come back and punch him again in the face while he is prone on the ground."

Vic Laffey, defending, told the court Barker has never been in trouble before and has an excellent work record as a welder.

Mr Laffey said Barker "deeply regrets" his actions that night, when he had had too much to drink and had a number of personal problems.

Mr Laffey added: "There is a lot of positives about this young man.

"He cannot believe he acted in this manner."