Great Britain

Attack victim had part of skull removed in life-saving surgery

A thug who beat up his victim so badly he had to have part of his skull removed has been jailed for more than seven years, police said.

Dean Stewart, 25, attacked 22-year-old Ryan Covell in his own home in Newcastle city centre then stabbed him in the neck and body.

He was left with life-changing injuries and has been unable to speak since the attack in June, Northumbria Police said.

Stewart, who lived in the same flats in Westgate Road, was jailed for seven years and eight months at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday after he admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, police said.

After the attack, the emergency services rushed to the scene and paramedics kept Mr Covell alive before he underwent life-saving surgery in hospital.

He was placed in an induced coma and had to have part of his skull removed.

During the court hearing, a victim impact statement was read out by the victim's mother in which she said the attack had changed her son's life forever.

She said: "Ryan still cannot talk, read or write and it's highly likely that he will never be able to do these things again.

"His life has significantly changed for the worse.

"He will never have a relationship, have children, be in employment or even go to the pub with his mates, simple everyday things we take for granted but are of the utmost importance.

"Ryan is not able to provide an account.

"He isn't able to defend himself or give his version of events and tell the court how he ended up being brutally stabbed.

"He cannot tell how he was left to die in the street, fighting for his life. The only person who can give an account or rationale for his actions is Dean Stewart.

"It is likely he will play this down or say he was provoked without Ryan being able to provide his account and this simply is not the case.

"Stewart still has his whole life in front of him but he has robbed Ryan of this and I will never forgive him for that.

"He has denied Ryan the chance to live a fulfilling life and that makes me physically sick."

Outside court, Detective Sergeant Brendan Paisley said: "This was a brutal and sustained attack that has changed Ryan Covell's life forever and we welcome the custodial sentence handed to Dean Stewart.

"If it wasn't for the life-saving intervention of the paramedics and doctors then I have no doubt that Stewart would have been convicted of murder."

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