A ‘LIKEABLE young man’ who assaulted a friend’s dad in the street in an unprovoked attack has walked free from court.

A few weeks before the drunken attack Shaun O’Sullivan had been put on a suspended sentence for violence.

But after hearing the 24-year-old was ‘intelligent’ and ‘likeable’, and would not serve long inside, a Swindon Crown Court judge decided it would be unjust to activate the jail term.

O’Sullivan and a female friend were in the town on Sunday, December 29, when they saw Thomas Donohue on Bridge Street.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, said the victim was not a complete stranger as he was the father of someone they knew.

“Mr Donohue was walking in the street at about 6.40pm,” she said.

“The defendant seemed upset at him not talking to him straight away as he was talking on the phone.

“The girl punched Mr Donohue to the face, he then seemed to be struck, knocked to the ground and then kicked.”

She said he suffered no serious injuries but O’Sullivan had been put on a suspended sentence on November 29.

Miss Hingston said that had been imposed for a case of actual bodily harm where O’Sullivan and friend Lee Sparks launched a violent attack on a vulnerable man.

They went to Ian Pounds’ room at a hostel and after an argument he was punched and hit on the head with a fire extinguisher, which was also set off in his face.

O’Sullivan, formerly of Kitchener Street, Gorse Hill, but now of Loyalty Street, Chippenham, admitted common assault.

Rob Ross, defending, said the latest offence, while unpleasant, was not the most serious of assaults. His client played a secondary role, just tripping up the victim, he said, with the girl landing the blows.

He said: “He is an intelligent young man and he is a likeable young man who has had a 10-year battle with drink and drugs.

“He seems, after that suspended sentence order was imposed, to have got a grip at last.”

Judge Tim Mousley QC imposed a six-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work, supervision at an attendance centre and an education, training and employment course. O’Sullivan must pay £100 compensation, a £60 surcharge, and the suspended sentence is still active.