A THUG who led a “pack” pursuit of a man through York city centre in the early hours has kept has been spared jail because he has a serious inherited lung condition.

But the judge who sentenced Jake Timothy Kirby, 19, warned that those who behaved as the teenager did can expect to be jailed, and confined him to his house at night for half a year.

Kirby’s barrister Felicity Hemlin told York Crown Court he had had to give up his apprenticeship because of medical complications caused by cystic fibrosis.

David Wain, prosecuting, said Kirby and his friends had surrounded two victims in the early hours of May 1. The victims had retreated down the street.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC said Kirby and about ten of his friends had gone looking for one of the two and chased him down an alleyway off Castlegate.

He said: “You and that pack of friends of yours then set about the two complainants in this case who weren’t looking for trouble."

Kirby would have continued the assault but for some of his “more sensible” friends restraining him.

“It took three of them to stop you assaulting that person,” said the judge. “It was disgusting and disgraceful behaviour, the type of behaviour that will always result in a custodial sentence.”

He gave Kirby an eight-month prison sentence but suspended it for 12 months with a requirement he does a nightly curfew from 8pm to 7pm for the next six months.

Kirby, of Sands Lane, Holme-upon-Spalding-Moor, pleaded guilty to affray. He had no previous convictions.

A 17-year-old East Yorkshire youth who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted the same offence before York Magistrates Court and his case was sent to Humber Youth Court for sentence.

Mr Wain said everyone involved in the incident had been drinking. The man chased down the alleyway had later been found unconscious with a broken bone, but the prosecution could not say who had caused the injury.

Miss Hemlin said that Kirby’s father had grounded him since his arrest and the teenager was remorseful.