Dad jailed for breaking man’s jaw during Christmas night out in Sheffield

Buses only sign on West Street leading onto Glossop Road in Sheffied.
Buses only sign on West Street leading onto Glossop Road in Sheffied.
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A father-of-two has been jailed for 16 months after a breaking a man’s jaw with a single punch in Sheffield city centre during a Christmas night out.

Darren Helliwell carried out the assault on the evening on December 21 last year on West Street while out with friends.

The man needed two titanium plates and metal screws to be placed in his jaw as a result of the injury, as well as having broken teeth fragments extracted.

Helliwell, aged 28, of Hoole Street, Walkley, was jailed at Sheffield Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm on the ‘heavily intoxicated’ victim.

Stephen Welch, prosecuting, said the victim said the injury ‘caused him ongoing pain and ruined his Christmas’.

Mr Welch added: “The victim says it has affected his confidence in going out and made him fearful for his safety in doing so.”

He said Helliwell has previous convictions for assault, actual bodily harm and robbery and had been on bail for a charge of aggravated vehicle taking at the time of the offence.

James Baird, defending, said in the lead-up to the punch, the complainant had pushed the girlfriend of one of Helliwell’s friends.

He said Helliwell and his friends walked away but the man subsequently started coming towards them without his shirt on.

Mr Baird said: “He is making his way towards the defendant’s friend when this defendant lashes out and delivers a single punch which causes the complainant to fall to the floor.”

He said the victim had not initially wished to make a complaint and was ‘clearly affected by drink’.

Mr Baird added: “He recognised his behaviour had not been the best. That is not an excuse for what the defendant did.

“He has accepted full responsibility for it.”

Mr Baird said Helliwell has two young children and had been working as a volunteer on a community farm in Loxley in an attempt ‘to keep out of trouble’.

Sentencing, Judge Mark Gargan told Helliwell: “You have a record of offences of violence and this was an offence committed whilst you were subject to a suspended sentence of imprisonment on other matters.”

He said the blow to a man ‘who was at that stage walking down the street’ caused the victim serious injury.

He said there would no additional jail time for Helliwell breaching his suspended sentence.