South Shields thug jailed after launching violent hammer attack in victim's own home
A brute who turned up at a pair's address in the middle of the night before launching a hammer attack on one of them has been jailed.
Phillip Bates was lying in bed when he was awoken by the sound of 30-year-old Daniel Sullivan ringing the doorbell.
A confrontation broke out when Mr Bates and Philip Leask, who was also living at the property, opened the door.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Sullivan went to the address of the men on Baring Street, South Shields, demanding prescription medication while understood to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Judge Edward Bindloss said: "Mr Bates was in his own bed at night time and he came down and for his trouble was punched by you and had injuries to the face, knee and cheek.
"Mr Leask you hit with a hammer causing a wound, and once you left you shouted racially aggravated slurs to a neighbour and smashed his door."
He added: "It is difficult to determine the level of injuries because Mr Leask has not provided a statement to the police - all we really know is he was in hospital at the RVI for a few nights."
Prosecutor Jolyon Perks told the court that Mr Leask was still downstairs at the address watching television whilst Mr Bates was upstairs in bed, before the fight broke out.
He said: "The defendant was asked to leave the house and a confrontation then took place between the complainant and the defendant.
"At this point Mr Bates saw the defendant rise a hammer and strike out and a loud crack was heard as the hammer hit the head of Mr Leask.
"As a result there were cuts to the face and left eye, swollen face and a grazed knee.
"Mr Leask has not provided a statement, but police attended the address afterwards and confirmed the injuries.
"He complained that he was hit several times with a hammer that required attending hospital for five nights but was then discharged."
The court then heard that after striking the blows to Mr Leask with the hammer, the defendant moved to the outside of the address and remained at the door.
A neighbour became involved by threatening to call the police and the defendant told the man to shut up, using racially aggravated threats in the process.
Sullivan then smashed his front door to the value of £200 before fleeing the scene on his bike.
Mr Perks continued: "The defendant was arrested shortly after at an address in South Shields after the police chased and caught him with a police dog."
Sullivan, of St Vincent Street, South Shields, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, wounding, racially aggravated damage to property, aggravated burglary, having an offensive weapon, and racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence.
Judge Bindloss sentenced Sullivan to two years and eight months behind bars.
Mr Perks told the court that Sullivan has 13 convictions to his name for 34 offences, including five years imprisonment following a robbery in 2012.
Defending, Gavin Doig, stated that were no excuses for Sullivan's racist remarks towards the neighbour.
He added: "He is extremely ashamed of using that language and is extremely regretful he did.
"It is no excuse to the defendant that it 'went in one ear and out the other' as stated on the witness statement, but it shows how common that language is."