A judge told a violent attacker "you wouldn't be a big man in the prison I might have sent you to" when sentencing him today.

Jack Blakeston, 18, of Windsor Court, was given a 23-week prison sentence suspended for two years for assaulting Ketan Cooper at Penmere Station in March 2018.

Recorder Charles Morrison took into account Blakeston’s age, previous good character, statements from his employer and a probation officer into account when sentencing him at Truro Crown Court today.

Passing his sentence, he said: “You probably thought you were a big man that day on the railway station when you assaulted Mr Cooper.

“I can tell you that you wouldn’t be a big man in the prison that I might have sent you to. I have given you the chance to avoid that custody and build your life.

“Don’t let me down.”

Prosecutor Gareth Evans argued that the assault should be considered premeditated as text messages were exchanged between the two before the incident, which took place four months after Blakeston turned 17.

It was revealed that there had been what recorder Morrison later called a “manufactured argument” over whether or not Blakeston had been involved in a previous fight, which Mr Cooper had discussed with the defendant’s girlfriend.

The two exchanged texts before the assault including one in which Blakeston asked Mr Cooper “have you got something to say?”

Mr Evans also suggested that an aggravating factor to consider was that Blakeston intended to commit a more serious offence than actually intended.

Defending Blakeston, Deni Matthews accepted that the meeting was premeditated but did not see that there was evidence his client intended to assault Mr Cooper before the incident.

A report from probation officer Sarah Rowe also mentioned that Blakeston had no known drink or drug issues and had been working for a scaffolding company for six days a week, starting early each morning.

Mr Matthews went on to say that although the “dreadful nature of the assault itself cannot be escaped,” his client has made progress since it took place.

He said: “He has had proper and clear guidance from his family, and having done something quite awful he has shown a proper response afterwards.”

Mr Matthews also pointed out that Blakeston was studying a marine engineering course which he was not enjoying at the time, and that he had lost a close family member which had an effect on his frame of mind. He also asked recorder Morrison to consider the fact that Blakeston was planning to undertake a scaffolding course in August after already completing a health and safety course at work.

Recorder Morrison did not find that the assault was significantly premeditated, nor did he accept the prosecution’s submission that Blakeston intended to commit a more serious crime.

Addressing the defendant, he said: “Using your relative size and strength you bullied Mr Cooper. Because you felt that you could do with impunity, you assaulted him.

“The vicious and unprovoked attack caused injury to Mr Cooper. Fortunately the matter ended there and Mr Cooper was able to leave and make his way home.

“Until yesterday you sustained a series of events that suggested you did it in self-defence.

“Perhaps you thought better of that. Perhaps you thought Mr Cooper would not have pursued this matter which with commendable courage he has.

“You avoided putting Mr Cooper through a trial. That is in some respect to your credit.”

He took into account the serious impact on Blakeston’s victim when sentencing, saying “This was a harrowing experience for Mr Cooper and he’s still suffering.”

As well as the suspended prison sentence, Blakeston was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and pay a statutory surcharge.

After the sentencing, prosecutor Gareth Evans asked recorder Morrison if he would consider issuing a restraining order.

The judge did not feel this necessary as Blakeston knows “he will leave here by the back door and not the front” if he reoffends.