AN ASSAULT victim whose jaw was fractured, has appealed to a judge to not jail his attacker.

Wako Wariyo-Galgalo was punched in the face and kicked by Abdi Shakour in a row over a cigarette lighter.

In a statement at Bolton Crown Court Mr Wariyo-Galgalo said he is still in pain following the injury, which required surgery.

But he added: "I decided that although he is responsible for my injury I did not want him to go to prison because it would be unfair on his child not to have a father. I feel sorry for Abdi and his child."

Katherine Pierpoint, prosecuting, told the court how the victim and his attacker are both from the tight-knit Somali community and have known each other for three years.

On March 20 Mr Wariyo-Galgalo was in a cafe in Bolton when Shakour asked to borrow a lighter, but then did not return it.

Three days later the pair saw each other again and there was a scuffle and argument about the lighter.

Then at 9pm on March 26 Mr Wariyo-Galgalo was outside Deane Convenience Store when Shakour approached him and asked him to come with him.

"The complainant thought that the defendant was going to give his lighter back so he followed him round the corner," said Miss Pierpoint.

"Once round the corner on Hove Street the defendant turned and faced the complainant in an aggressive manner.

"The complainant said all he wanted was his lighter back."

When the Shakour put his hand on Mr Wariyo-Galgalo's shoulder and said "ok", the victim thought the confrontation had ended.

Mr Wariyo-Galgalo turned to walk away but then Shakour punched him in the left side of his jaw.

"He immediately felt pain and heard what he describes as a snapping sound," said Miss Pierpoint.

"He realised serious damage had been caused as his teeth would no longer meet when he tried to shut his jaw."

Shakour, a father-of one, of Thornbank North, Bolton, initially denied committing grievous bodily harm but pleaded guilty on the day of his trial.

Colin Buckle, defending, said: "This was a wholly childish and unnecessary situation to find themselves in as grown men.The defendant says when he was face to face with the complainant he simply lost control. It was out of character."

He told how 24-year-old Shakour, who works as a takeaway delivery driver, came to the UK as an asylum seeker. His father died and he does not know the fate of his mother and siblings.

Judge Graeme Smith sentenced Shakour to 16 months in prison, suspended for two years, ordered him to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work and he must participate in 15 days of rehabilitation activities.

Judge Smith told him: "It is said that your remorse and regret in genuine and that certainly seems the case as the victim feels some sadness towards you. He does not want to see you in custody and that is an extremely generous attitude on his part."