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Victim of Houghton

Nov 11, 2023Nov 11, 2023

An updated medical report has been requested by a court over the extent of the recovery of the victim of a town centre street attack before his assailant is sentenced.

Craig Dalkin is alleged to have delivered up to three punches on the complainant, who fell unconscious on the pavement, suffering a bleed to the brain, in Newbottle Street, Houghton-le-Spring, on Saturday July 30, last year.

The, now, 34-year-old defendant denied a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent at a plea hearing at Newcastle Crown Court, a month after the incident.

A trial was fixed to take place this week, but the case came back before the court on June 1, when Dalkin’s plea to a slightly lesser charge of unlawful wounding was accepted by the prosecution.

Read more: Accused man denies Houghton-le-Spring two-punch street assault gbh

It negated the need for the scheduled trial which had been listed to start on Wednesday (July 19).

The scheduled sentencing hearing today (Fri July 21) was told the most recent medical report available as to the condition of the 32-year-old assault victim was produced last November.

But, Emma Atkinson, for the Crown, said in an impact statement prepared for the court on June 17, the victim mentioned “ongoing issues” and is said to be still waiting to have a metal skull fitting.

Robin Turton, for Dalkin, said: “We haven’t had it set in stone what the prognosis is.

“Realistically it’s a catastrophic injury and there may be long-term sequelae.

“There isn’t any medical update.

“It may appear quite gloomy, but there may be cause for optimism later.”

Mr Turton said although his client is “anxious” to learn his fate, he accepted the need for the updated medical prognosis.

Read more: Man denies causing gbh with intent arising from Houghton-le-Spring street clash

Recorder Tony Hawks said: “It may be catastrophic but we could do with an updated report from a neuro-surgeon as to what the prognosis is.”

Both the Crown and defence agreed to an eight-week delay to allow sufficient time for such a report to be produced.

Read next:

Man in hospital following alleged assault in Houghton-le-Spring

Police searching for Houghton man who had 'bladed article'

Woman dies after medical emergency at Houghton Superdrug

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Addressing the defendant, Recorder Hawks told him: “I’m sorry you can’t be sentenced today, but there are a number of reasons for that.

“There is no issue now that needs to be resolved, but we need some updated information on the injury you caused.”

He adjourned the hearing and bailed the defendant, of Thorney Close, Sunderland, to return to court to be sentenced on Friday September 15.

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