Middlesbrough former boxer jailed for 11 years for attack which ‘detached upper part of man’s face’

Stuart Peter Leyshon, 35, pummelled a man as he lay defenceless in a friend’s home in the early morning.


A former amateur boxer whose powerful blows broke a man’s face as he slept on a sofa was jailed today for 11 years.

Stuart Peter Leyshon, 35, pummelled a man as he lay defenceless in a friend’s home in the early morning.

The attack devastated the victim’s life, leaving him disabled, missing his left cheekbone and in constant pain.

The horrific multiple fractures “detached” the upper part of his face, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Doctors warned him he could die if hit again – and the depressed victim later felt he should have died in the assault.

Leyshon climbed in through the living room window of an Eston home and launched the attack on the sleeping man.

The vulnerable victim was found coughing up blood and blood pouring from him. One witness was sick after seeing the injuries.

Prosecutor Adrian Dent said: “He’d been hit so hard that his face had been fractured and those blows had detached the upper jaw on the left side from the surrounding facial bones.

“His teeth were virtually down his throat, his airway was compromised and he was, in effect, gargling his own blood.”

Meanwhile the assailant was “bouncing around” saying: “I didn’t even hit him that hard.”

Leyshon had walked to the home on Bankfields Road, Eston – on the same terrace as his own – and attacked the sleeping man after learning that his brother had a “run-in” with him.

A witness heard four thumping sounds outside after Leyshon crept in between 8 and 8.45am on August 31 last year.

The victim of the assault, who had no memory of the violence, had multiple facial fractures and underwent a five-hour operation at James Cook University Hospital.

Surgeons put wire into his face and fixed the damaged bone with six titanium plates. He will need further surgery.

After the attack, Leyshon “transformed himself” and misled paramedics claiming he had simply found the man in his badly injured state, said Mr Dent.

He persisted in these lies to police, saying he tried to help the stricken victim and did not assault him.

Mr Dent said Leyshon portrayed himself as a “hero” in a later defence statement.

Leyshon said he administered first aid as he was a trained fireman and helped the paramedics carry a stretcher.

The attacker, now of Appletree Gardens, Ormesby, Middlesbrough, began a trial denying causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

He changed his story, admitting he had lied and was responsible for the injuries, but claimed self defence, alleging the victim swung punches at him.

After the opening of the trial he changed his mind and finally admitted the serious assault.

A jury formally found him guilty following his own confession to the crime.

His previous convictions included assaulting a PC.

Robert Mochrie, defending, said Leyshon was “terrified” of his first prison sentence.

He said the defendant apologised to the victim for his “totally unacceptable” actions and the level of injury he caused.

He said Leyshon had been horrified, scared and reluctant to face up to the consequences of his behaviour.

He told how Leyshon reacted inexcusably to news of a “fracas” involving his brother.

Leyshon was a boxer in his teens but since had mental health difficulties and was in no fit state to train for the ring, added Mr Mochrie.

He also said Leyshon’s mother was terminally ill with cancer and he expected to lose her while he was in prison.

Judge Deborah Sherwin said Leyshon lost his temper after hearing of a minor incident and left his home to “extract his revenge”.

And with the powerful legacy of his boxing career, he struck blows which were “forceful in the extreme” – equal to the use of a weapon.

“Those blows caused devastating injuries,” she told him.

“The effect on him has been devastating. He’s been left permanently disabled as a result of these injuries.

“He will feel its effects for many years to come.”

She jailed Leyshon for 11 years and gave him an indefinite restraining order banning him from approaching or contacting the victim.

Speaking after the hearing Temporary Detective Sergeant Helen Wilson from Cleveland Police said: “Firstly I would like to pay tribute to the victim and his family who have shown great dignity and bravery throughout this traumatic episode.

“I welcome the sentence issued today. This reflects the severity of this attack on a sleeping man, one which led to horrific facial injuries.

“Leyshon will have a good deal of time whilst in prison to reflect on what he has done and I hope the victim and his family can now begin to rebuild their lives.”

Gazette Live

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