Attacker who left man disfigured after savage nightclub attack is jailed

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An attacker who took part in a savage assault that left a man’s facial features changed forever has been jailed.

Paul Richards was pounced on during a night out at Glitterball in Ocean Road, South Shields, and left with a fractured cheekbone resulting in his face and eye drooping on one side.

The savage attack left him needing an operation to fit a metal plate in his face and he has moved his family to another area as a result of his ordeal.

At Newcastle Crown Court, Kyle Heslop, 24, of Gibbon Walk, South Shields, who sparked the violence with a single punch, was jailed for 25 months.

The court heard Mr Richards had been in a toilet cubicle at the club when Heslop burst in and said “get out of my way, I’m having a whitey”.

As Mr Richards went to leave the area, Heslop punched him hard and sent him crashing to the floor.

Others then joined in the attack, launching kicks at Mr Richards as he lay on the ground.

Heslop admitted causing grievous bodily harm but it was accepted he played no part in the kicking that followed his initial punch.

Judge John Milford QC told him: “This was a serious injury which has been suffered by Mr Richards.

“The injury had to be plated at operation but it is clear it has made a very considerable phsychological impact upon him.

“It is clear there has been a significant cosmetic effect.

Mr Richards told police in a victim statement: “I have lost all feeling to the left side of my face and around the back of my head.

“I will have this for the rest of my life and it will be a permanent reminder of the incident. My face is drooped on one side, which will be a permanent reminder.

“This has left me feeling worried something is going to happen to me. I have had to uproot my family and move away because we feel intimidated. We don’t want trouble at our door.

“I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I have done nothing to provoke this.”

Prosecutor Stuart Graham told the court: “He has accepted he lost his temper and struck a single blow.

“He accepts causing the injury. He accepts he started the incident but wasn’t involved in the kicking.”

The court heard Heslop has spent six months in custody after the attack over an offence he was later proved not to have committed.