A TEENAGER has avoided an immediate prison sentence after knocking a man unconscious with a kick to the head.

Daniel Biddle entered a guilty plea to one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford.

Prosecutor Mark Hambling said a member of the public had been attempting to challenge Biddle over an allegation of theft when the attack happened on March 6.

Biddle had turned around and kicked the victim in the face, Mr Hambling said, knocking him unconscious.

In a statement, the victim said he remembered trying to keep at a safe distance from Biddle, who he felt "very threatened by" and then being helped to sit up by another member of the public.

He said he had suffered cuts to his mouth and had been taken to hospital with a bad headache after the attack, where he had undergone a CT scan.

"He had been kicked to the right side of the head, but fell and hit the left side," Mr Hambling said, telling the court that the custody threshold had been passed.


Fergus Maxwell, for Biddle, said that he had to accept the custody threshold had been crossed but that it was evident that the 18-year-old is a young man with significant issues.

"I think it is for you to decide whether you can suspend that sentence," he said.

Mr Maxwell said Biddle had a difficult upbringing and that he reacts disproportionately when he feels challenged or trapped, but recognised that he had gone "completely over the top".

"It seems he has problems with thinking skills," he said.

"He has issues with anger management which need to be addressed."

Mr Maxwell said it appeared Biddle, who is of Foster Crescent in Leominster, is easily influenced by his peers, and that the incident that day had been started by his friends suggesting they steal a bottle of vodka.

"His mental age appeared to be far lower than his chronological age," he said.

"If he was exposed to a custodial environment, he would cope, but what would come out at the end of it?"

Magistrates said it was an unprovoked attack and that Biddle had left the scene without checking on his victim, sentencing him to 32 weeks in prison, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to participate in a thinking skills programme, pay compensation of £350 to his victim, and a £156 victim surcharge.

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