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Violent thug jailed after assault leaves victim missing part of his skull

Dean Stewart

A violent thug has been jailed after a brutal assault at a Newcastle flat left his victim missing part of his skull.

Dean Stewart has been sentenced to more than seven years behind bars after using a knife in a sustained assault on 22-year-old Ryan Covell.

Newcastle Crown Court was told how the two men had got into an altercation inside Ryan’s flat at the Tyneside Foyer on Westgate Road.

Stewart, 25, then used a knife to repeatedly attack his victim during the incident on June 15 this year, inflicting life-threatening injuries to his neck and torso.

Ryan Covell.

Emergency services rushed to the scene and paramedics were able to keep Ryan alive before he underwent emergency surgery at hospital.

He was placed in an induced coma and had to have part of his skull removed in order to save his life but it left him with life-changing injuries and unable to communicate.

Stewart, who also lived at the Tyneside Foyer, was arrested and later denied a charge of attempted murder at Newcastle Crown Court.

But he admitted wounding with intent to commit grievous bodily harm and today (Monday) he was jailed for seven years and eight months by a judge.

During the hearing, a victim impact statement was read out by Ryan’s mother in which she said the attack had changed her son’s life forever.

It read: “Ryan still cannot talk, read or write and it’s highly likely that he will never be able to do these things again. His life has significantly changed for the worse.

“He will never have a relationship, have children, be in employment or even go to the pub with his mates, simple everyday things we take for granted but are of the utmost importance.

“Ryan is not able to provide an account. He isn’t able to defend himself or give his version of events and tell the court how he ended up been brutally stabbed.

“He cannot tell how he was left to die ¡n the street, fighting for his life. The only person who can give an account or rationale for his actions ¡s Dean Stewart.

“It is likely he will play this down or say he was provoked without Ryan being able to provide his account and this simply is not the case.

“Stewart still has his whole life in front of him but he has robbed Ryan of this and I will never forgive him for that. He has denied Ryan the chance to live a fulfilling life and that makes me physically sick.”

Following the case, Northumbria Police’s investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Brendan Paisley, welcomed the lengthy sentence handed down by the judge.

He said: “This was a brutal and sustained attack that has changed Ryan Covell’s life forever and we welcome the custodial sentence handed to Dean Stewart.

“If it wasn’t for the life-saving intervention of the paramedics and doctors then I have no doubt that Stewart would have been convicted of murder.

“In many ways, Ryan’s life has been taken from him and I know that the sentence will provide little comfort to him or his family.

“Their lives have been changed forever and I hope that, at the very least, they can now begin to put this case behind them and move on with their lives.”

A man and a woman also arrested in connection with the attack remain under investigation by Northumbria Police.

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