Knife attack victim left illiterate and missing part of his skull

Will Taylor
·News Reporter
·3-min read
Ran Covell was left with life-changing injuries and had to have part of his skull removed. (Northumbria Police)
Ran Covell was left with life-changing injuries and had to have part of his skull removed. (Northumbria Police)

A 25-year-old man has been jailed for a brutal knife attack that left his victim missing part of his skull and unable to talk, read or write.

Dean Stewart’s assault on 22-year-old Ryan Covell left the latter with such severe injuries, the victim’s mother said her son’s life has “significantly changed for the worse” and he was unable to tell his account to a court.

Northumbria Police said the two got into an altercation in the latter’s flat at the Tyneside Foyer homelessness support accommodation in Newcastle.

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Stewart used a knife to repeatedly attack Covell and inflicted life-threatening injuries to his neck and torso, with paramedics managing to keep him alive before emergency surgery at hospital.

He was put into an induced coma and had part of his skull extracted save his life, but it has left him with “life-changing” injures and unable to communicate, Northumbria Police said.

Dean Stewart has been jailed for seven years. (Northumbria Police)
Dean Stewart has been jailed for seven years. (Northumbria Police)

A victim impact statement from Covell’s mother, who was not named by police, said: “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 being brutally stabbed.

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

Stewart, who lived at the Tyneside Foyer, admitted wounding with intent to commit grievous bodily harm and was jailed for seven years and eight months at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday.

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Covell’s mother said in the statement: “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.”

“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.”

Northumbria Police’s Detective Sergeant Brendan Paisley 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 woman were also arrested in connection with the attack and Northumbria Police continue to investigate.

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