Teen thug who 'swaggered into court lucky not to be facing murder charge' after attacking singer

Mint night club on Albert Road, Middlesbrough
-Credit: (Image: Ian Cooper)

A drunk teen thug kicked a man in the face as he lay on a pavement.

Charlie Wales "could have been facing a murder charge" after he kicked his victim in the early hours of August 13, last year. Teesside Crown Court has heard that a group of men chased their victim, who is a musician, across Wilson Street in Middlesbrough. One man in the group, who has never been identified, punched the victim to the floor.

19-year-old Wales was then caught on CCTV booting the man - leaving him with blood dripping down his face. The victim lay still, after it was suspected he was unconscious, until an ambulance came and took him to hospital.

On Monday, Annelise Haugsted, prosecuting, told the court that the group and the victim were in Mint nightclub on Albert Road; and after the victim left, he was surrounded by a group of men. "He left the nightclub alone," Ms Haugsted said, "and got into a verbal altercation with a group of males. They surrounded him and he ran.

"A male punched him to the ground. Mr Wales kicked him after he had fallen to the ground." The victim was left with a broken nose, and he needed stiches to a wound on his face.

In a statement read out to the court, the victim said: "I went out with friends to socialise and have a good time. That didn't happen, as I was attacked. My face still feels numb and I have a pins and needles sensation in my hands.

"I'm a singer and a guitar player. The incident has knocked my confidence. If I'm left with scarring, I don't know if I want to stand in front of an audience."

Wales, of Greenland Avenue, Whinney Banks in Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm. In mitigation, Tom Bennett told told the court that "the actual assault is one kick after a very short chase."

"Kicking someone's face when he is prone?," asked Judge Bryan Cox, "he's fortunate not to be facing a charge of murder. If the victim's head had impacted onto the ground, the likely consequences are subdural bleeding - and we know what that leads to."

"Mr Wales has expressed remorse," Tom Bennett told the judge. "Looking at his swagger when he walked into court, and looking at his demeanour in the dock - I don't see that remorse," the judge said. "He doesn't behave as if he has any real understanding of what he did."

Mr Bennett said that Wales was showing an "external bravado" to hide his true feelings. He said that his client "has caring responsibilities for his mother."

Wales, who was dressed in a tracksuit, listened as Judge Cox told him: " You could easily have killed your victim, and you need to understand that. You would then have been at risk of getting a life sentence in prison.

"Keep that in mind next time you're tempted to get involved in fighting. Someone who goes to the ground and clatters their head on the pavement, can vey easily end up dead."

Wales was handed a 12-month prison term, suspended for two-years. He was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and attend 15 rehabilitation days with the probation service. He was also put under a curfew from 7pm to 7am, which will be monitored with a tag.

For daily news from Teesside's courts direct to your inbox, go here to sign up to our free court newsletter