Horrifying CCTV footage has been revealed which shows a teenager left with a shattered skull by a single, vicious blow at a Newcastle taxi rank.
Billy Close, 19, was standing at a taxi stand at Newcastle, United Kingdom, when he was accosted by strangers Jordan Cooper and James Widdowson and punched by the former in an unprovoked attack.
Close fells down under the force of a single blow and hit his head hard on the ground, resulting in a fractured skull and dangerous internal bleeding. The concussion landed him in a coma for almost two weeks fighting for life — which included an emergency surgery to reduce the swelling on his brain.
Close is now recovering but has been left with some serious disabilities that have shattered his dreams of joining the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force.
“I now suffer from tiredness all the time, I’ve lost my sense of smell, suffer numbness in my thigh, have been left with physical scars which look horrific and which I’m going to have to cover up for the rest of my life,” said Close, according to the Chronicle. “I have further surgery to undergo to replace missing parts of my skull from the operation.”
The assault had traumatizing implications on his mother, Michaela, as well.
“My life is currently on hold at the moment, I’m having to give full-time care to Billy,” said Michaela. “The Billy I knew before this is different to the Billy I know now and I worry the change in his personality will be permanent.”
The police have found the two culprits and Cooper has been locked up for two and a half years after he apologized for his brash actions and admitted to the charge of grievous bodily harm at Newcastle Crown Court.
The accomplice, Widdowson, admitted to assault and has been handed an eight week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, with 80 hours unpaid work and a 25 day rehabilitation requirement for his alcoholism.
He also received a harsh reprimand from District Judge Sarah-Jayne Griffith to curb his drinking habit.
“You are somebody who quite frankly needs to either stop drinking or moderate your drinking because when you have consumed alcohol you behave in an aggressive way, said the judge. “If you don't you are at risk of committing these types of offences again.”
Defense Attorney John Graham said Widdowson’s early guilty plea has prevented Close from coming to court at a time when he should be focused on recovering.