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When a stranger he had asked for a cigarette refused to give him one a Helston man slapped his victim in the face.

He told police afterwards it had only been “playful” and he had meant it in a “jovial” manner.

Phillip Antony Tonkins, aged 38, of Meneage House, Meneage Parc, pleaded guilty at Truro Magistrates’ Court to assaulting Christopher Trewin at Camborne on August 9.

The court heard that Tonkins had twice asked Mr Trewin for a cigarette when they were both in Commercial Square at 11.30pm. When he was refused a second time, he slapped Mr Trewin in the face, leaving him with a sore eye. Mr Trewin had never seen him before.

Tonkins, who had previous convictions, told police the slap was not meant to be malicious. He was put under curfew for three nights a week for ten weeks.