BUILDING site labourer Ben Lawson attacked a 15-year-old he believed had been bullying his sister, a court heard yesterday.

Harrogate magistrates were told how Lawson, 19, had punched his schoolboy victim in the face as he was walking in Locker Lane, Ripon, with two friends.

Prosecutor Peter Scott said the boy fell to the floor and Lawson, of Hillshaw Terrace, Ripon, kicked his head and shoulder. The boy was taken to hospital for treatment to a displaced jaw and shoulder and hand injuries.

When Lawson pleaded guilty to assault, his solicitor Geoffrey Rogers, said he had been at his girlfriend's home preparing a meal when his nine-year-old sister arrived home very upset.

She claimed she had been bullied by a group of older boys and Lawson had gone out with her so she could identify her tormentors.

He had not intended any violence but Lawson lost his temper and threw a punch.

Court chairman Gordon Charlton ordered Lawson to carry out 60 hours of unpaid community work and pay costs of £150 and £100 compensation to his victim.