A VIOLENT man who punched and kicked his innocent victim shouted abuse at the judge as he was handed an 18-month prison sentence.

Paul Leather reacted angrily when Recorder Nathan Adams told him he was heading straight to custody for the unprovoked attack in February last year.

The 33-year-old, who will now miss the birth of his child, shouted 'my wife is out there pregnant, mate. Everything I have worked for you have just thrown away – you're having a laugh'.

Judge Recorder Nathan Adams remained silent during the barrage of abuse which could still be heard as security officers removed him from the dock at Teesside Crown Court.

Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said Leather launched the attack on his victim on February 4 last year when the man got into a dispute with the defendant's friends out his home – shouting 'you are dead' but it is not clear what it was all about.

He added: "At some point the defendant ran at the complaint and punched him in the nose, sending him to the floor in a dazed state. The defendant could feel blood coming from his nose and then the defendant commenced a repeated attack – he kicked and punched the man around the head, face and body.

"Eye witnesses called on him to stop and he eventually did."

The Northern Echo: Paul LeatherPaul Leather

In a victim personal statement, the man said the attack had left feeling nervous to stay in his home in Norton, near Stockton, and was still suffering from his injuries months later.

Mr Newcombe said Leather had a long history of violence in his younger days but had stayed out of trouble since 2013.

Leather, of Derwent Road, Saltburn, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm after causing a laceration to the victim's nose and chipping his teeth.

Rod Hunt, mitigating, said: "He understands he has behaved appallingly to the victim. He is at the forefront of everyone thoughts today. He knew that when he pleaded guilty; he knew that when he appeared before your honour today and his remorse is genuine.

"His wife is sitting outside on a bench, in tears, wondering what is going to happen to him."

Sentencing Leather, Judge Adams said: "This was an incredibly serious matter and there is no way to avoid that. This was fuelled by drink and Class A drugs, this was a sustained serious assault on a member of the public.

"It was a punch to the ground and if it had stopped there maybe something could have been said for keeping you out if prison but you didn't stop there."