FIVE teenagers attacked a 16-year-old boy as he walked home from a party, leaving him with severe facial injuries.

Bolton Crown Court heard how the victim was punched and kicked by a gang following what he described as “petty rivalry” between schoolchildren, but the boys yesterday avoided a jail sentence.

Alexander Langhorn, prosecuting, told the court that the 19-year-old Dylan Smith had published on Facebook: “(The victim) must die”.

Then, by chance Smith, of Berne Avenue, Horwich, together with Aaron Brierley, also 19, of Lester Avenue, Horwich, and three younger boys came across the 16-year-old victim on the night of April 11 last year.

The young victim was walking home from a party in Old Vicarage Road, Horwich when Smith asked him his name and suddenly attacked him.

“At that point, without any warning, he punched the boy in the face,” said Mr Langhorn.

The boy fell to the floor and when he got up again he was punched in the face again by Brierley.

The boy attempted to get away by running through gardens, but was caught by the gang and pushed through a fence before being punched and kicked by all the youths. The young thugs then walked their victim towards Chorley New Road and tried to persuade him not to tell the police.

He needed two operations to repair a fractured eye socket, suffered a broken wrist and his face was badly swollen and bruised.

In a statement to the court the boy, who missed sitting a GCSE exam due to his medical treatment, said: “I did everything I could that night to avoid confrontation.”

Smith, Brierley, a 16-year-old boy and two 17-year-old boys, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, all pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.

The court heard that all the defendants came from “respectable families” and some did charity work. Sentencing all, apart from Brierley, Recorder Simon Medland QC described it as an “unusual and difficult case”.

Smith was sentenced to 50 weeks in a young offenders’ institute, suspended for 18 months and given an 8pm to 6am curfew for four months.

He was also ordered to pay his victim £750 compensation.

The three younger defendants were given youth rehabilitation orders and a 12-hour curfew for 90 days.

They will each also have to pay the victim £500 compensation.

Brierley will be sentenced on May 24 once pre-sentence reports are compiled.