A YOUTH has been locked up for giving a pedestrian a black eye in a confrontation sparked by a 12-year-old cyclist riding on the pavement.

The 17-year-old attacker and his younger cousin were both cycling along Shipton Road, near Rawcliffe Lane, said Bob Moore prosecuting.

“The pedestrian heard a loud noise behind him, jumped and turned round,” said Mr Moore. “A child on a bicycle who was obviously the 12-year-old rode past him very closely, but didn’t make contact.”

Then the 17-year-old rode up and said: “Why are you trying to hit a 12-year-old?” The pedestrian said he wasn’t, but the 17-year-old repeated his question and punched the man three times in the face before riding after his cousin into nearby Homestead park.

The 17-year-old, no fixed address, and who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to assault and was given a four-month detention and training order. The pedestrian suffered a black eye and other facial injuries.

Chris McGrogan, the youth’s solicitor, said the 12-year-old had been cycling on the pavement and was sure the pedestrian had not intended to touch him.

“He possibly rode too close to this gentleman. As he turned round, he caught the 12-year-old,” said Mr McGrogan.

The boy told the solicitor “I think I may have startled him.” York Youth Court heard.

The 12-year-old only saw his cousin punch the man twice.

Mr McGrogan said the 17-year-old’s behaviour had changed dramatically for the worse after he suffered major head injuries in a traffic crash when he was much younger, and his family were seeking medical advice on whether the crash had had a permanent psychological effect.

Before then he was polite and well-behaved. Since then, he had become estranged from his family. But since he had been remanded in custody, he had started being reconciled with his relatives.

The youth was already serving an eight-month detention and training order for aggravated vehicle taking and other offences when he appeared before the court.