A hotel worker suffered a catastrophic brain injury when he was thrown head-first into a parked car in a shocking Wear-Tyne derby day attack.
Before the violence, Jordan Liddle was an independent, hard-working 23-year-old who loved football, had just rented a flat of his own and had a full life ahead of him.
Now, after ten months in hospital and enduring multiple operations and infections, Mr Liddle, who had “done nothing wrong” needs 24-hour care and may never again live and independent life.
Mr Liddle had been in Newcastle watching television coverage of Sunderland’s 3-0 victory over the Magpies at the Stadium of Light on October 25 last year when he was attacked by Michael Scott, 30, who chased him through the city, flung him against a car and then walked away and left him unconscious.
Mr Liddle suffered an acute brain haemorrhage as a result of hitting either the vehicle or the ground.
He needed part of his skull removed to relieve pressure on his brain, still has no sensation or sight on his left side and and can no longer walk or be left alone.
At Newcastle Crown Court Mr Recorder William Lowe QC said Mr Liddle’s injuries were the worst of their kind that he had seen in a half-century career.
Scott, of Forest Gate, Palmersville, North Tyneside, who admitted causing grievous bodily harm, was jailed for three years and nine months.
The judge said: “I have experienced over five decades in this profession and four decades in this office. This is, by far, the worst offence of causing grievous bodily harm I have come across.
“This was violence in the city centre.
“It was violence fuelled by drink.”
The court heard Mr Liddle had been in the city with friends watching Newcastle get beat by Sunderland when he got involved in a dispute with a man from Scott’s group.
Mr Liddle left Circuit One bar and the trouble seemed to be at an end but the court heard Scott chased Mr Liddle and threw him against the parked vehicle.
CCTV of the attack, on Mosley Street, was played in court.
The judge said the evidence showed that Mr Liddle had “done nothing wrong” and that Scott had wanted “revenge”.
During the hearing, Mr Liddle’s mother spoke of her and her husband’s despair at watching their once active and ambitious son struggle to do even simple tasks.
She said her and Mr Liddle’s father are thankful they still have their boy but have had to grieve over the son they lost and added: “All decisions are now made for him, it is a complete contrast to his previous life.
“He is now totally reliant on benefits and family support.
“He needs 24/7 care in the home. He has carers throughout the day while we are working and we care for him at all other times.
“He is not allowed to be left alone.
“We no longer live in what was a happy home.
“Should he gain the ability to walk, he will always need a chaperone, he won’t see obstructions on his left side.
“We are so thankful to still have Jordan but we live in a constant state of apprehension and anxiety.
“We have grieved aspects of our son we have lost and those we may never know, such as grandchildren.
“We don’t know if he will continue to need constant care of if, one day, he will be independent again.
“Whatever sentence is passed will not change his situation or impact on his future.
“When I asked Jordan how he felt about the sentence he said ‘every day he has to spend in prison, I know I am in a better place as I am free. But what he has done to me is for the rest of my life and he will be able to walk away’.”
Paul Caulfield, defending, said Scott did not foresee the severity of the injuries suffered by Mr Liddle, is remorseful and “devastated” by what he has done.
Mr Caulfield said despite Scott having previous convictions, he had become a hard working family man who displayed positive attitudes.
Mr Caulfield added: “He is not all bad, there are good things to be said about this man.”