Huddersfield man celebrated knock out sucker punch after teen knife threat

Violent dad-to-be Kurt Mullarkey has been jailed
-Credit: (Image: West Yorkshire Police)

An expectant dad who threatened a teenage girl with a knife as she walked her dog has been put behind bars.

Violent Kurt Mullarkey, 31, attacked the girl in March 2020 as she walked to her grandmother's house. Mullarkey, of Blacker Road, Birkby, got out of the passenger seat of a passing car due to the girl walking "slower" than he expected and attacked.

His Honour Judge Pema told Leeds Crown Court on Friday Mullarkey then "jumped out, pushed her back against the wall out of nowhere". He addressed Mullarkey and said: "She was trapped and you produced a steak knife and held it to her face and neck and threatened her saying, 'you will be next.' The fear that caused was obvious. You ran away laughing."

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Despite being caught after forensics tracked down the car and found Mullarkey's DNA on it, he first denied being at the scene and then said it was a case of mistaken identity. He was found guilty by a jury of affray and threatening another person with a bladed article.

The court heard he was also sentenced for causing grievous bodily harm after he "sucker punched" a man unconscious in a bar. The man - who was said not to have even been looking at Mullarkey when he was punched - was attacked on October 12, 2020, when the defendant was awaiting trial for the knife threat.

Judge Pema said: "The victim was looking away from you and you delivered a sucker punch with full force to the left side of his jaw. It was a cowardly violent, mindless assault on a person now known to be slighter than you. Your punch - you knew - could have caused serious injury, especially on a person who didn't know he was in a fight. You claimed it was self defence in a defence statement.

"[On CCTV] you leave the bar happily and sit down proud of what you had just done. The man was unconscious on the floor. Your reaction to that was to celebrate your achievement."

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It was said the man suffered two fractures to his jaw and needed surgery to allow metal plates to be inserted. Mullarkey had claimed that at the time he had been undergoing intense physiotherapy, but a reference had been provided by a boxing coach that suggested he had been participating in the sport at the time. The victim in this offence told the court in a statement he had been suffering from anxiety, sleepless nights and nightmares and "didn't want to go out".

He was said to have lost two stone in weight as he was not able to eat properly for three months. Mullarkey had admitted causing grievous bodily harm in relation to that offence. The court heard he had previous convictions on his record, including a stabbing in 2019.

Mitigating, Nicola Hoskins, described the offences he fell to be sentenced for as being of "some age". She said: "This defendant tells me he has done some growing up in the past couple of years. I know there was that stabbing in 2019. He is now back at work, having set himself up as a landscape gardener.

"There are of course two children children and he remains on good terms with them and co-parenting is successful. The defendant's current partner attends court today and was here supporting him in the trial. She is expecting a children in November or December this year. He has reflected the part alcohol had to play in the second occasions. He shows a willingness to address his own shortcomings."

Judge Pema jailed Mullarkey for 39 months. He told him he must serve half of that period in custody before being released on licence.