Northallerton man left victim with fractured skull and bleeding in brain

James Kerfoot punched his victim after the argument in the early hours of the morning when the two bumped into each other on their way home from Bars in Northallerton.

Teesside Crown Court heard the victim was unconscious for 24 hours as a result of the attack and had lost thousands of pounds in earnings after being unable to work for several months.

Andrew Findlay, prosecutor, said a bar worker witnessed the violent incident after hearing the two argue before the 35-year-old accused delivered a crushing blow.

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“He fell to the ground with his nose bloody,” he said. “He was unconscious, lying flat on the ground and his leg was shaking.

“The defendant stood over him and looked like he was about to try again. The witness intervened, grabbed the accused and got a friend to call the police.”

Mr Findlay said the attack on December 18, 2021 left the victim with a bleed in the brain and is still suffering from the long-term effects of the attack, causing more than £1,500 worth of damage to the clothing she was wearing that night .

In a victim impact statement, the man said he lost 23 weeks of work to the attack and still suffers from headaches from his skull fracture and bleeding in his brain.

Kerfoot of Stonegate Court in Northallerton pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm after the attack on the town’s High Street.

John Nixon said mildly that his client is a hardworking father of three and takes full responsibility for his actions.

“There was a confrontation between the two men, he was heard saying, ‘Gilly, stop,'” he said. “It is a case where he acted spontaneously.

“He made no attempt to leave and admitted he was responsible. He in no way holds the complainant responsible for the incident and accepts that it was he who lost control.”

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Judge Howard Crowson sentenced Kerfoot to 12 months in prison, suspended for 12 months to ensure the defendant was able to pay a substantial amount of damages.

He said: “This incident was witnessed by a completely sober bar worker from the bar where you were drinking when he recognized you.

“It was a clenched fist hit to the left side of his face – it must have been a strong blow as he was unconscious before touching the ground, the witness said.”

Kerfoot was ordered to pay compensation of £5,000, attend 25 days of rehabilitation and do 200 hours of unpaid work. Northallerton man left victim with fractured skull and bleeding in brain

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