This is the sickening moment a carer was knocked to the ground by a single punch – leaving him with life-changing brain injuries.
He was left with no sense of taste or smell after the assault, which occurred as he was out celebrating his dad’s birthday last November.
He also suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.
Mr Tong had been out in the city when he encountered 23-year-old Izzard and his friends, who had come up from Essex for the weekend.
A court heard there was a verbal exchange about accents in the area of Times Square and Izzard ended up punching Mr Tong once.
The blow, captured on CCTV, knocked the victim backwards and to the ground, cracking his head off the pavement and fracturing his skull.
Mr Tong was left in intensive care for five days and suffered life-changing brain injuries, which continue to seriously affect him.
A court heard the carer has been unable to return to his job and no longer enjoys fish and chips as a result of his loss of smell and taste.
Izzard was identified as Mr Tong’s attacker following an appeal in The Chronicle.
Now, he has been jailed for 16 months for inflicting GBH after a judge warned him he was lucky he wasn’t facing a murder or manslaughter charge.
Recorder Keith Miller, at Newcastle Crown Court, told the defendant: “You are lucky not to be facing a charge of murder or manslaughter.
“Incidents like this are all too common.
“A blow to the head which is sufficiently strong to knock someone clean out is likely to result in him suffering very serious injuries when his head hits the ground.
“This is not a case where Mr Tong was being aggressive or where there was any excuse for the way you advanced then assaulted him.”
The court heard Mr Tong had been out in the Marlborough Crescent area of Newcastle for his dad’s birthday on November 20, 2016.
He has no memory of the attack, but by 2.15am he had become separated from his father and was in the area of Times Square, near Central Station.
There was an exchange between Mr Tong and a friend of Izzard about accents.
A man was seen trying to usher Izzard away from Mr Tong but the defendant moved forward and punched him once, the court heard.
The victim was left sprawled on the ground with his takeaway box.
Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw said: “As a result of the blow, the complainant fell backwards and his head struck the pavement.
“He sustained a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain as a result of the assault.
“He was taken to hospital and was in intensive care for five days and in hospital for a further six days.”
The court heard Mr Tong has been unable to return to work following the attack.
He also can’t drive, has no money, has lost his sense of smell and taste and is lethargic and nervous.
Recorder Miller said: “He used to really enjoy fish and chips but now doesn’t like it and finds it nauseating.
“He has to concentrate more on talking, is more hesitant, lacks energy, goes to bed at 9pm, is worn out and it has seriously affected his confidence.
“His hearing in his ear is returning but it’s not 100 per cent.”
Izzard, who has 11 previous convictions but had never been to prison before, pleaded guilty to inflicting GBH.
Jailing him, Recorder Miller said: “I accept there may well have been banter on that night over the fact you and the young men with you came from Essex and people locally might have picked up on that and made comments about your different accents.
“It’s not entirely clear what led you to assault Mr Tong but I’m satisfied, having seen the CCTV, that you were not acting in self defence or anything like that.”
Peter Walsh, defending, said Izzard had handed himself in to his local police station after realising what he had done.
Mr Walsh added: “Mr Izzard and his father are both horrified at the consequences of that punch. It’s something he would never have anticipated would have resulted.
“His friend had some sort of dispute with the injured party.
“The defendant recognises, on reflection, that he had no business getting involved and no business in striking the man.
“It was not his argument, that’s the frustrating matter for him and his father.
“As a result of drink he did something that was out of character.”