Laughter from dock as CCTV of nightclub crash which broke victim’s spine played in court

“Binge offender” Jack Liddle, 23, crashed a BMW into an innocent reveller outside a Teesside nightclub.

The victim was thrown onto on the bonnet in the impact, the force of which “launched” him off the vehicle outside the Aruba nightclub, in Redcar, on February 16 last year.

He was blindsided by a “cowardly sucker punch” then had the BMW driven into him, leaving him with a fractured spine.

Laughter was heard from the dock and public gallery as CCTV footage of the horrific attack was played in Teeside Crown Court.

The victim was taken to hospital with a fracture to his thoracic spine.

He could not work for three months, costing him more than £5,000, he needed surgery and has suffered nightmares and flashbacks since.

Liddle, of Bevanlee Road, South Bank, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent and dangerous driving.

Williams, of Cropton Close, Redcar, and Millington, c/o Birchington Avenue, Grangetown, admitted affray, fighting in public.

Liddle was repeatedly allowed bail after the Redcar attack – allowing him to commit a string of other serious crimes.

These included ram-raiding Lloyds pharmacy on Trunk Road, Middlesbrough, robbing two shops at knifepoint within two days of each other, and shoving a female worker at the Costcutter shop on Fabian Road, Grangetown.

Liddle admitted the burglary, the two robberies, having a bladed article, possessing an offensive weapon and breaching bail.

Rod Hunt, defending Liddle, described him as a “binge offender” on one hand, and a polite, pleasant, highly-regarded hard worker on the other.

He said: “Your Honour has someone here who has gone completely, bizarrely off the rails but is determined to try and put himself right. If ever there was an illustration of what drugs can do to a personality, this is it.”

Simon Walker, representing Millington, said he bitterly regretted his actions and apologised to the victim of the Redcar violence.

He said he acted out of character to a “total stranger”, his first violent offence, through intoxication and loyalty to friends and caused no injury.

Gary Wood, for Williams, said he threw the first drunken punch in the fracas but claimed it did not land.

Judge Peter Armstrong jailed Liddle for 13 years – nine for the GBH, four for the other offences.

He said: “I’m afraid 13 years is the least sentence that I can pass. It could have been longer but I don’t think I can reduce it beyond that.”

Millington and Williams were each given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

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