Two jailed for killing teenager outside South Tyneside nightclub
Two men jailed for killing teenager, 19, when a fight erupted outside a nightclub on a Bank Holiday weekend as the victim’s mother says she is ‘broken beyond repair’
- Steven Thompson was killed in August 2021 following a dispute with three men
- Leon Wildgoose and Dylan Ford earlier today pleaded guilty to manslaughter
Two men have been jailed for killing a teenager outside a nightclub in South Tyneside.
At a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court on Friday, Leon Wildgoose, 23, and Dylan Ford, 25, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Steven Thompson in August 2021. Both were sentenced to four years each in jail.
Mr Thompson’s mother told the court her family had been ‘broken beyond repair’ after her son’s death.
She said: ‘Steven was a lovely young man. He was a mild-mannered and a good person. He was never involved in any trouble.
‘The loss of Steven has broken our family. We used to be so close but no more.’
The 19-year-old had reportedly tried to stop one of his attackers from stealing a bike when he was fatally assaulted on the Bank Holiday weekend.
He was treated at the scene by paramedics and was rushed to hospital, but sustained significant head injuries, and died after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Steven Thompson was 19 when he was killed outside a nightclub in South Shields in 2021
Leon Wildgoose (pictured left) and Dylan Ford (pictured right) pleaded guilty to manslaughter
Prosecutors said that Mr Thompson was standing on the street outside Roxanne’s club on August 30, 2021 before the fatal assault.
Mr Thompson reportedly tried to stop Wildgoose from pedalling a bike away, believing he was trying to steal it.
Ian Hall, Ford’s stepfather, had been at a bar nearby, came over when he heard his stepson was involved in a dispute.
He headbutted the owner of the bike, who was not seriously injured.
Mr Thompson was then knocked to the ground and attacked.
As he got up and crossed the road, he was pursued by Wildgoose and Ford.
Wildgoose punched him in the head, knocking him unconscious.
This led to swelling, depriving Mr Thompson’s brain of oxygen and leading to his death.
Ford’s stepfather Ian Hall, pictured, was found not guilty of the manslaughter of Mr Thompson
Ian Hall was found not guilty of the charge by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court in December.
However, the 42-year-old admitted to headbutting the other man present.
The judge sentenced Hall to 30 weeks suspended for 18 months.
The judge told Wildgoose and Ford: ‘Steven Thompson had been out with his friends and was ending the night in the Roxannes night club.
‘I have heard how what you did has broken his family.
‘No sentence can bring Steven Thompson back. No sentence can offer any consolation.’
At the hearing, Mr Thompson’s mother expressed the impact of her son’s death on the family.
She said her son was somebody who ‘enjoyed his work’, with a ‘wide group of friends’.
She added that he rarely went out in the town centre.
‘It’s difficult to explain how the incident has affected my family and myself,’ she said.
‘Steven’s brother, David, witnessed what happened to Steven and now suffers Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
‘I can’t sleep. When I do get some sleep I often wake up sobbing.
‘I can’t function in any normal way. I can’t cook, clean or eat.
‘Since Steven’s death we’ve had to endure his 20th and 21st birthdays and two Christmases without him.’
She said that she had become ‘imprisoned’ in her own home in the lead up to the trial in the fear of seeing the defendants in public, who were subject to bail conditions, and that the family had had to endure the legal process for over a year.
‘It breaks my heart that my family is now broken beyond repair. I cannot see what the future holds for us.’
Image shows tributes to Mr Thompson outside Roxanne’s bar where he was killed in 2021
After the attack, Mr Thompson was taken to South Tyneside Hospital, where he arrived at 4.15am.
Doctors continued with emergency care but he was pronounced dead at 5.11am.
A pathologist concluded his death occurred as a result of blunt force impact, caused by an accelerated fall from standing height from being punched.
Adam Birkby, defending Wildgoose, said his client was terribly sorry for the pain caused to Mr Thompson’s loved ones.
He told the court Wildgoose was ‘deeply ashamed’ of what happened.
Speaking after the sentencing, Northumbria Police Detective Chief Inspector, Graeme Dodds, the senior investigating officer on the case, said: ‘Our thoughts remain with Steven’s family, I know how devastated they are and how much his loss continues to impact them.
‘This has been a tragic and brutal case which has sadly cost a nineteen-year-old man his life – I want to make it clear that there is no place for any form of violence in our communities.
‘The impact violence can have on families is heart-breaking and should never be the price someone has to pay.’
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