Teen suffered catastrophic injuries after bullying misunderstanding

A teenager suffered "catastrophic" injuries that caused the roof of his mouth to collapse when a stranger lashed out with a hoover attachment during a "misunderstanding" in the street.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 6:38 pm
Ryan Thompson who was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting grievous bodily harm against a teenager.

Ryan Thompson had spotted the boy and his friends involved in "horseplay" as they walked together and wrongly believed someone was being bullied.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 28-year-old armed himself with a piece of hoover pipe from his car and hit out in a "snap of temper".

As a result of the blow the teen victim, described as a "good natured boy", lost several teeth plus damage to the roots which will result in surgery and implants as he grows up.

The court heard he suffered excruciating pain and "no longer likes to smile".

Judge Tim Gittins told Thompson: "This group of boys, including the victim, you observed them carrying on with each other and I accept that there was a genuine misunderstanding on your part."

Judge Gittins said Thompson had initially acted in a "public spirited" way when he saw one of the boys on the floor but added that his "righteous indignation boiled over into a snap of temper and loss of control".

The judge added: "You acted very much out of character, it was a single blow and was in circumstances of some genuine misunderstanding, initially, by you."

Thompson, of Wilson Avenue, Sleekburn, Northumberland, admitted causing grievous bodily harm.

Judge Gittins sentenced him to 18 months behind bars due to the gravity of the outcome.

Liam O'Brien, defending, said: "The defendant can't take back what happened but he does ask, through me, to make clear how sincerely sorry he is for causing these awful injuries that this poor child sustained.

"He still can't explain exactly what was going through his head when he made that foolish decision to lash out with the hoover.

"He very much regrets what he has done and particularly the fact it is still having such an impact on this young man's life."

The court heard Thompson was having a difficult time in his life when he carried out the attack and was homeless after separating from his partner.

He lost his job as a result of being arrested but Mr O'Brien said Thompson has now "made progress" and has new employment as a groundworker.