Scorned cyclist runs over ex-girlfriend and assaults her new lover days after she broke up with him
Paul Gallon, 37, rode his bike into 32-year-old Holly Blake and 43-year-old William Nicholson when they were walking down the street together in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside
A spurned lover who intentionally ran over his ex-girlfriend and her new love interest with his mountain bike before assaulting them and leaving her with permanent brain injuries has sent to jail for 11 years on October 24.
37-year-old Paul Gallon rode his bike into 32-year-old Holly Blake and 43-year-old William Nicholson when they were walking down the street together in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside. The Newcastle Crown Court heard how the cyclist knocked the couple to the ground with his bike before jumping off and repeatedly punching and stamping Nicholson. Blake ended up suffering from a permanent brain injury after she was knocked unconscious and had bleeding in her brain.
The Daily Mail reported that Nicholson suffered from a fractured cheekbone and has been left with the left side of his face being numb. Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told the court that Blake was in a six-month relationship with Gallon which came to an end five weeks before the assault took place.
Blake started her relationship with Nicholson only two weeks before the assault. The court heard how the couple were on their way back after a visit to a Home Bargains store in town to purchase a TV aerial booster and stopped at a Hardy's store on the way to their home. As they were walking down Esplanade Place on November 7, 2016, they were crashed into by Gallon from behind.
Wardlaw then told the jury that a witness at the scene saw Gallon speeding up moments before he crashed into the couple and then attacking Nicholson. He said: "He (Mr. Nicholson) was repeatedly punched and stamped upon by the defendant while lying on the ground. He believes he lost consciousness for a short time."
In Blake's victim impact statement that was read out to the court by Wardlaw, she recalled how she missed out on the opportunity to see her mother before she died because of her injuries. She said: "I suffered a massive bleed on the brain and I was in a coma. It caused my permanent brain injury. I'm on 20 different tablets, I have to take them four times a day. I'm registered as disabled, I will never drive again. I never saw my mother before she died. She was too ill in Sunderland hospital and I was too ill to leave the RVI."
Blake sustained a one-and-a-half inch wound to her head and woke up from the induced coma she was put on only 14 days after the attack. She said she suffered from memory loss, would forget very often if she had eaten and ask for another meal. The 32-year-old also said that she will have ongoing health problems for the rest of her life.
The jury heard that the Home Bargains store that the couple had visited was close to where Gallon worked at Ollie's Bait & Tackle Shop. Gallon had also claimed that he received threats from Nicholson against his children that same afternoon when a confrontation took place outside the shop where he worked. He has made it clear that he did not stamp on Nicholson after he rode his bike into the couple.
However, Judge Stephen Earl ruled that Gallon's claims were "fanciful and beyond belief". He also rejected Nicholson's claims that Gallon attacked him with a weapon. Nicholson outright denied having confronted Gallon outside his shop and said during the trial of issue: "(I) heard a noise, turned around and he was there. I dropped to the floor. Paul Gallon had also come off his bike as he smashed into us. I just got attacked while Holly Blake was lying to the right of me, on her back, with her shopping around her, unconscious."
"The two of us were taken off our feet. She flew into a garden post, I hit the ground. Every time I tried to get myself up to stop myself or Holly getting hurt anymore, even though she was unconscious on the floor — I didn't know that at the time — I kept getting put down on the floor. I was just a mess, absolute mess." During a hearing that took place earlier at Newcastle Crown Court, Gallon pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm on Blake and grievous bodily harm with intent on Nicholson.
Defense lawyer Brian Mark described the incident as a "moment of madness". He said: "He didn't foresee any of it at all, none of it, and all that's followed. He bitterly regrets the injuries he's caused and always has. He's horrified by them. He is regretful for his contact, he's regretful for the injuries and, whether he's lost the trial of issue or not, he regrets the attack that took place. I don't seek in mitigation to take away a thing from the harm that was done. He is remorseful for the damage he caused on that day."
While sentencing him to 11 and a half years in jail, Judge Stephen Earl said: "This was a pretty nasty assault. You were out of temper and frankly you were completely out of character, I accept, but some cases are so serious that not only a custodial sentence are appropriate but a lengthy custodial sentence — given the nature of the offence as in this case."