South Shields thug whose victim died eight months after one-punch attack given further 18 months behind bars

Calvin McLellan and, inset, Connor Jary.
Calvin McLellan and, inset, Connor Jary.

A teen thug killed a chef with a single punch while out of bail for earlier street violence then boasted about his deadly attack on Facebook.

Calvin McLellan was knocked unconscious when his head hit the ground after a blow from Connor Jary's fist in South Shields town centre during an early-hours confrontation in August 2016.

While the 30-year-old dad-of-two lay fighting for his life with devastating brain injuries, his attacker bragged on social media about what he had done.

Prosecutor Paul Abrahams told Newcastle Crown Court: "Examination of his social media, Facebook, revealed comments made by the defendant, contemporaneous to the time when Mr McLellan was lying severely injured in the street.

The court heard Jary had posted "Dropped some lad in a dig" on his profile, along with "Smacked him once and hes on the floor snoring".

Jary also called his victim a "proper ****** freak" in his shocking social media announcement.

The court heard Mr McLellan survived for eight months with catastrophic injuries and lost his fight for life in April last year.

At the time of the assault on Mr McLellan, Jary had been on police bail for a separate street attack in 2015, when he, and others, left two men with significant facial injuries.

In January 2017 Jary, of Moreland Road, South Shields, was jailed for three years for the two attacks.

After Mr McLellan died, Jary was then charged with manslaughter, which he admitted.

The now 19-year-old had been due for release back onto the streets at the start of this year.

But Judge Paul Sloan QC has now sentenced him to a further 18 months behind bars.

The judge told him: "Knowing full-well that he was lying unconscious on the ground, instead of remaining at the scene and ensuring his wellbeing, instead of awaiting the arrival of the emergency services, you fled.

"As he lay severely injured in the street you proceeded to brag on social media, bragged about what you had done."

Judge Sloan said Mr McLellan's family has been "destroyed" by Jary's attack and his mother is "completely shattered".

The judge said: "All she could hope for, when she made her original statement, was that, one day, her son would wake up.

"Now, she has had to bury him."

Judge Sloan told Jary: "No sentence I am permitted by law to impose could ever begin to ease the pain and suffering you have caused, the pain and suffering which will never go away."

The court heard Mr McLellan was well-known and well liked in his home town and had got a job as a hotel chef shortly before he was attacked.

He was described in court as a "happy person" who was close to his family, which included his mother, a brother and sister, two daughters and nieces and nephews.

His mum Susan Douglas said in a statement, which was made before his death: "Since this day, my world has fallen apart. I am a broken woman and have a broken family."

His sister Mandy Douglas said in her statement, which was made after his death, that she will be forever haunted by the sight of her "baby brother" in hospital and has said the family will never get over their loss.

Miss Douglas said the family had been warned Mr McLellan had a 50/50 chance of surviving his first night in hospital, where they all stayed by his bedside.

She added: "All that time, that horrible human Connor Jary was boasting about it on Facebook, saying, 'sent someone snoring', well you did that didn't you, you killed my brother from day one."

Mr McLellan's sister branded Jary a "bully" in her statement and, in a direct message to Jary within the document, said: "You haven't just killed my brother, you have killed my whole family."

Miss Douglas added: "If I had my way, I would throw away the key. You are a murderer in my eyes, not in law, but in mine and my family's eyes.

"We had to watch him dying that day, while you laughed about it."

Piers Marquis, defending, said Jary has completed courses, addressed his own problems and is now a mentor for others in prison.

Mr Marquis added: "He knows he cannot express how sorry he is for what happened that night in a way which would ever make up for the harm he has caused."

Mr Marquis said Jary, who had been on an apprenticeship before his arrest, wants to get back to his family and back into work when he is released.