A LONGTOWN man has been jailed after he admitted two offences of dangerous driving and a one-punch assault, which knocked out the victim.

Callum Kerr, 28, carried out the unprovoked attack at a bar in Lowther Street, Carlisle, punching the victim once on the back of the head shortly after having a conversation with him. The defendant was identified from CCTV footage.

Kerr admitted the actual bodily harm assault, committed in September of last year, as well as two counts of dangerous driving and two charges of disqualified driving, all committed within the space of four days in June of this year.

Prosecutor Isabella Denn-White outlined the facts at the city's crown court.

The assault happened at Bocata Bar after Kerr had been having a conversation with the victim. For no apparent reason, the court heard, while the victim was turned away from him, Kerr punched the back of his head.

“He was knocked unconscious,” said Miss Denn-White.

In a statement, the victim spoke of the physical impact of the assault, saying he went to hospital and was left with headaches. He described the assault as “unprovoked”, the punch landing unexpectedly as he  tried to mind his own business.

Miss Denn-White then described the two driving offences.

One witness to the June 6 offence said that Kerr had been driving “like a lunatic” while at the wheel of a Mercedes on London Road, Carlisle.

An off-duty police officer also saw the defendant saw Kerr driving “very quickly” out of a car park and on to London Road, where a pedestrian had to jump out of the car’s way.

The car was seen speeding away towards Nelson Bridge before going out of sight. Officers who tried to pursue the car said they could smell burning rubber from the defendant’s tyres as the red Mercedes reach a speed estimated to be between 80mph and 100mph.

They were so concerned they deployed a stinger device to stop the car.

The second dangerous driving offence happened four days later when Kerr was seen driving a Mitsubishi Shogun car on Dalston Road, Carlisle.

Witnesses saw him driving dangerously around the city centre before finally stopping on Richardson Street, Denton Holme. The court heard that the defendant has 63 previous offences on his criminal record.

There were eight offences of violence and other driving matters, including a previous driving while disqualified and failing to give police a required specimen.

Andrew Evans, defending, accepted that Kerr was guilty of prolonged and deliberate dangerous driving, but nobody was hurt. The assault consisted of a single blow, pointed out Mr Evans. "It was spontaneous and short-lived," added the barrister.

Judge Michael Fanning said the assault in the Carlisle bar had brought with it the risk that the violence could have spread. The first dangerous driving involved Kerr evading the police during 15 minutes of bad driving.

He had deliberately ignored the rules of the road and disregarded the safety of others, including the pedestrian who had to jump out of his way. He was also driving while disqualified and uninsured.

He then did the same on June 10.

Kerr, of Burn Street, Longtown, was jailed for 18 months and given a three-year driving ban, extended by nine months to reflect the time he will spend in custody before release.

He was given a three year ban and told he must pass an extended retest before driving independently.