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Posted on Tuesday 27 September 2022
Darren Yates
A dangerous offender who stamped on a vulnerable man in an unprovoked attack has been jailed.

Darren Yates repeatedly punched the man in the head after jumping out of his car in Seaham town centre on July 20.

The man, who had been sitting on a bench at the time, fell to the floor unconscious where the violence continued with Yates stamping on him and punching him again.

The victim, who had suffered brain injuries following a heart attack in 2019, was taken to hospital where he was treated for a brain contusion, potential haemorrhage, abrasions, bruising and swelling to the scalp and lip.

Officers identified Yates on CCTV in the vicinity and arrested him at his home address later that evening and has been remanded in custody since.

The victim was left afraid to go out on his own and also has trouble sleeping.

The 39-year-old, of Essex Crescent, Seaham, subsequently admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Durham Crown Court heard how Yates had 27 convictions for 57 offences, including some for violence which have resulted in past custodial sentences at his sentencing on Friday (September 23).

Judge James Adkin said the attack had been “brutal” and “cowardly”.

Yates was sentenced to an extended determinate sentence, with a six-year custodial element, of which the defendant must serve two-thirds before being eligible for release by the Parole Board.

On his release he will also be subject to an extended licence period of three years.

PC Ashley Hagar, of Peterlee CID, said: “This was a ruthless attack on a vulnerable victim, leaving him hospitalised with serious injuries.

“I am glad that he will be spending a significant amount of time in prison, where he belongs. He has rightly been classed as a dangerous offender and I hope that he is able to reflect on his actions and understand how shocking his behaviour was.

“The victim has been immensely brave throughout the whole process and we hope he can now start to rebuild his life.”

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