Dad’s ‘one-punch’ pub attack left terrified onlookers screaming ‘he’s dead’

A dad has managed to avoid jail despite delivering a brutal punch to another bloke at a pub that left him unconscious in a pool of blood and others terrified that the victim had died.

Dale Burnett, a 33-year-old dad from Middlesbrough, was given a 16-month prison sentence suspended for a year-and-a-half by a judge at Teesside Crown Court after being found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent and admitting assault by beating.

Prosecutors successfully argued that he attacked two men, aged 44 and 54 at the time, at the Lingfield Farm pub, in Coulby Newham, last May while on a night out to celebrate a birthday.

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The court previously heard that the men were all having fun together, even having a dance-off at one point, before things quickly turned sour,TeessideLive reports.

"[The victim] states they were having a great night. One of the group won the dance competition but he then recalls that all of a sudden people started throwing ice at him and his friend,” prosecutor Joe Culley told the court.

The court heard that at around 11pm that night after the group was confronted, a woman heard screaming and shouting, and could see fighting.

Horrified, she said she could hear someone shouting: "He's bleeding out, he's bleeding out, they've killed [name of victim]."

CCTV footage from the popular pub revealed that Dale had punched the victim, who ended up unconscious in a pool of his own blood after his head collided with metal work on the bar.

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He suffered a 13 cm laceration and bruising and swelling to his face. His mate was also assaulted and sustained swelling to the bridge of his nose and one of his fillings was dislodged.

While CPR was performed on the first victim, a police officer entered the pub and said several punters were screaming, shouting and acting aggressively.

In a victim impact statement, the man who was punched to the floor said he now has to be forced to leave the house and is withdrawn. He said a week prior to the incident he was diagnosed with a serious illness and due to his injuries his treatment was delayed.

The self-employed electrician also said he wasn't able to return to work until September last year causing financial stress.

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Dale’s lawyer said the 33-year-old has genuine and heartfelt remorse and has abstained from alcohol since the incident, describing him as a hardworking dad and argued a prison sentence could be suspended.

Judge Christopher Smith said during the sentencing hearing: "You were involved in assaulting two different men. Your victim was left with potentially serious injuries.

"He was rendered unconscious, there was blood all over. It's no surprise that some of the people in the bar thought you might have killed him. The court tragically sees deaths caused by a single punch.”

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