AN assault victim did his attacker a favour by surviving, a magistrate told a teenager.

Benjamin Kaya, aged 18, was on his way to an Army assessment day when he encountered Tobias Berry in the street.

Kaya punched him in the face, fracturing his jaw and knocking him unconscious.

At Bolton Magistrates’ Court Kaya pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and chairman of the bench, Anthony Coffey, told him: “When you punched him and walked away he was unconscious on the floor,

“He could have been dead — you basically left him for dead.

“He did you a favour by surviving. If he had died you could be looking at 10 years, but he lived.

“Do you understand how lucky you are?”

Robin Lynch, prosecuting, told the court how Mr Berry was walking along Rawlinson Street near Winter Hey Lane, Horwich, at 8.30pm on July 14 last year when he was spotted by Kaya.

The court heard Kaya’s claim that Mr Berry’s ex-girlfriend had previously complained to him that he had mistreated her.

“The defendant approached the victim, dropped his bag on the floor and removed his watch,” said Mr Lynch.

“The defendant walked up to the aggrieved, stood in front of him and immediately punched him to the side of the face, causing the victim to immediately fall to the floor.

“It is obvious that the aggrieved was unconscious.”

Kaya picked up his bag, walked off and, when he encountered Mr Berry’s ex a short time later, told her: “I’ve just tw***ed your ex-boyfriend.”

A woman passer-by took Mr Berry to her home and an ambulance was called.

The court heard that Mr Berry suffered a fractured jaw and two bleeds on the brain and still suffers pain from the injury.

Samantha Cole, defending, stressed that that Kaya, who has no previous convictions, was only aged 17 when he committed the offence.

“He is extremely remorseful,” she said. “He’s never been before a court before.”

She added that Kaya had not planned to attack Mr Berry. “It was a complete chance meeting,” she said.

“He saw him and he acted instinctively and to this day he completely regrets acting in the way he did.”

Mrs Cole said that, as a result of the conviction, Kaya, of Crown Lane, Horwich, has lost the opportunity to join the Army and now hopes to become an apprentice bricklayer.

Kaya was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. He was electronically tagged and made subject to a 7pm to 7am curfew for 12 weeks and was ordered to participate in 20 days of rehabilitation activities. He must also pay Mr Berry £500 in compensation.

Mr Coffey told him: “We have taken into account you were 17 at the time and immature, not thinking straight.

“We took into account your remorse since the action. We took into account it was impulsive and stupid.

“But we are here to make sure justice is done and justice has to be seen to be done.”