An employee at Falmouth’s Ocean Bowl was headbutted by one of two men involved in taking away one of the Christmas trees being used for decoration.

Trevor Siddall, the employee, was then told he had to “ask nicely” if he wanted it back.

The man accused of hitting him, Jacob Hosen, who appeared before Truro magistrates charged with assault, was said to be short-tempered as a result of a previous accident in which he suffered serious head injuries, and for which he was currently seeing a neuro-psychologist.

Hosen, aged 19, of St Piran’s Road, Perranporth, pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Siddall at Falmouth on November 30.

Alison May, for the CPS, said at 11.30pm Mr Siddall had seen on CCTV the tree being taken into the car park.

One man had thrown it away and when Mr Siddall went to pick it up, Hosen raised his leg as if to kick him, shouting abuse, and obviously very angry.

Hosen then swung the Christmas tree base at him, saying: “Say something else” to which Mr Siddall replied: “Can I have the tree back?” At this Hosen headbutted him.

A paramedic who treated Mr Siddall told him his nose was broken, he had a chipped tooth and could expect to have two black eyes.

Hosen had a previous conviction in 2012 for battery.

His solicitor Dieter Kehler told the magistrates about his medical history, saying his accident had changed him, making him more short-tempered, particularly when offered antagonism.

He was upset that night at having been accused of stealing the tree, which he did not do.

Hosen, a touring warden for Haven at Perran Sands, was told to do 40 hours of unpaid work, pay £120 costs and surcharge and £100 compensation to Mr Siddall. He was also given a drink banning order for a year.