A YOUNG thug who punched a woman to the ground before kicking her to the face, breaking her nose, has avoided an immediate prison sentence.

Rhys Martin launched the violent attack on the woman after she was involved in a minor disagreement with his now-deceased mother.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the teenager left his victim with permanent scarring and disfigurement due to the extent of the damage caused to her nose by the brutal kicks.

Tabitha Buck, prosecuting, said the violence erupted after Martin’s mother rang him following a disagreement with the victim over claims made about a man known to them both.

Read more: Darlington man jailed after grooming girl he met outside youth club

She said Martin was only 17 when he carried out the violent attack on August 21, 2020.

Miss Buck said the woman was treated at hospital for a laceration to her face and a fracture to her nose.

In a written statement, the victim of the attack told how the ‘horrid, vicious attack’ had left her devastated by the seriousness of her facial injuries and found it difficult to come to terms with the impact of Martin’s violence.

Martin, formerly of Banksfield Road, Eston, Middlesbrough, was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm following a trial at the same court.

Brian Russell, in mitigation, said his client had endured a tough start to the year with the loss of his mother but said he was now in work as a labourer and was trying to get on with his life as best he could.

Judge Christopher Smith warned the 19-year-old that he would be facing custody if he breached the terms of his suspended sentence.

He said: “You knocked her to the ground when she was on the phone and when she was down on the ground, you kicked her at least once in the face.

“You have left her with permanent scarring, there has been, and will continue to be, a long-term impact on her.

“Your actions have caused lasting physical and psychological harm to her. She has been left frightened and very conscious about the change to her appearance.”

Martin was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, ordered to attend 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days, and perform 150 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £500 in compensation to the victim.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated Teesside Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054