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Victim of brutal attack had tooth lodged in his lungs
AN attack victim collapsed a week after being brutally beaten by a gang because his false tooth had become lodged in his lung, a court heard.
Shaun Cooper was one of two people injured in a night of violence in Middlesbrough, which resulted in three men being jailed at Teesside Crown Court.
Liam Watson, 20, Carl McKay, 23, and Christopher Currie, 25, played a part in attacks on two men a few minutes apart as they left the Labour Club in Eston.
Mr Cooper was attacked in the aftermath of an earlier incident in which Mark Hudson was hit over the head with a 3ft length of wood by Watson and then punched and kicked by a number of people, including McKay.
The incident was prompted when Mr Hudson told Watson and McKay to control their girlfriends who had abused him in the street after they had fallen over, breaking glasses.
The two men turned on Mr Hudson but he stood his ground and they at first backed off.
But the court heard that Watson then armed himself with a piece of wood and ran at Mr Hudson with it raised in the air, striking him to the left side of his head, injuring his face and ear and also dislocating his thumb.
Minutes later, Mr Cooper left the club to see three people run past him, before he too was the subject of a motiveless attack.
Prosecutor Christine Egerton said: "Mr Cooper ended up on the ground being kicked to his head and punched by people. He ended up semi-conscious, there was blood everywhere.
"He had two teeth knocked out, a cut to his left eye which needed six stitches, a cut lip which required four stitches, damage to his cheekbone and he noticed blood in his urine afterwards.
"He had also swallowed part of a tooth denture which lodged in his lung. A week after the incident he collapsed and coughed up the denture.
"He was told by a doctor that it could have been very serious had he not coughed it up."
Watson, of Birchington Avenue, and McKay, of St Mary's Court, both Grangetown, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, and Currie admitted affray.
Stephen Constantine, for Watson, said: "He comes from a stable family background and is trying to put his life back on track."
Tamara Pawson, for McKay, said: "There is no evidence that this was a premeditated incident. He expresses regret and is ashamed."
Paul Abrahams, for Currie, said he did not know Watson or McKay and had played no part in the assault on Mr Hudson but was nearby when Mr Cooper was attacked.
Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, QC, jailed Watson for eight months, McKay for seven months and Currie for four months.
He told Currie, who is already serving a sentence: "You are a very violent individual and you involve yourself in violence because you enjoy it."